Brandon and Alyssa’s new baby was born with a congenital heart condition. They worried about their child’s health and future. However, they also were concerned about the expensive medical treatments and whether they could both continue working. They considered government benefits like SSDI and SSI but did not know if you could qualify for SSDI due to birth defects. Let’s look at government disability benefits as applied to birth defects.
Qualify for SSDI with a Disabling Condition
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance, a program that is managed by the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The SSA evaluates people who apply for SSDI on the following information:
- Work Credits: Do they have enough?
- Work History: Have they accumulated work credits the years preceding the disability?
- Disability: Do they have a disability that meets Social Security Disability Insurance standards?
Supplemental Security Income benefits (“SSI”) may be awarded to individuals with a disability. Although work history is not considered, the applicant’s income is. SSI is typically for low-income disabled individuals who lack work credits.
Are Birth Defects on the List?
Yes, many birth defects are listed on the SSA’s list of impairments, which includes:
- Low birth weight and failure to thrive
- Respiratory disorders
- Disorders of the cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, digestive, blood, and skin
- Neurological disorders
Children with disorders that do not appear on the list may qualify also.
SSDI or SSI?
Typically, a child born with congenital conditions may be eligible for SSI. SSDI benefits may be awarded when the child reaches age 18, or 19 if still enrolled in high school. However, the parent’s work credits and income are factors used to determine eligibility when the child lives at home with his or her parents.
Also, adults who are disabled before they reach age 22 may qualify for SSDI child’s benefits based on a parent’s Social Security earnings. The parent must be deceased or receiving retirement or disability benefits.
A Disability Attorney Can Help Every Step of the Way.
Dealing with a child born with serious medical conditions is stressful enough. Applying for government benefits can be less of an ordeal if you have an attorney guiding you.
For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security attorney, consult with an attorney at The Law Offices of Martin Taller. Call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients through Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.