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What are the Eligibility Criteria for Childhood Disability Benefits?

Children younger than age 18 who have disabilities may be eligible for Childhood Disability Benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Children younger than 18 can qualify if they have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.

A child under age 18 will be considered disabled if they have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that causes marked and severe functional limitations and that can be expected to cause death or that has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.

Outside of the child’s disability, their parent, guardian, or caregiver’s income and resources must fall within the eligibility limits to qualify for benefits.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our Santa Barbara childhood disability benefits attorneys help California residents understand the application requirements and submission process so they can successfully pursue these essential benefits for kids in need.

What are the Childhood Disability Benefits Requirements?

A child must meet all the following disability requirements to be considered medically eligible for benefits:

  • The child, who is not blind, must not be working or earning more than $1,470 monthly in 2023. A child who is blind must not be working or earning more than $2,460 (this amount usually changes every year).
  • The child must have a medical condition or a combination of conditions that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means the condition(s) must seriously limit the child’s activities.
  • The child’s condition(s) must have been disabling or be expected to be disabling for at least 12 months, or the condition(s) must be expected to result in death.

Following are some of the conditions that may qualify:

  • Total blindness.
  • Total deafness.
  • Cerebral palsy.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Muscular dystrophy.
  • Severe intellectual disability (child age four or older).
  • Symptomatic HIV infection.
  • Birth weight below 2 pounds, 10 ounces.

The SSA will evaluate low birth weight in infants from birth to attainment of age one and failure to thrive in infants and toddlers from birth to age three. The infant’s birth weight is evaluated as documented by an original or certified copy of the infant’s birth certificate or by a medical record signed by a physician.

How Can I Successfully Apply for Childhood Disability Benefits for a California Dependent?

Childhood Disability Benefits are often challenging to obtain because the information, medical records, and documentation required to meet SSA’s requirements can be challenging to gather and submit properly.

This is why we are here.

Our skilled California Childhood Disability Benefits attorneys will compile detailed information about the child’s medical condition and how it affects their ability to perform daily activities.

We will also ask you to permit the doctors, teachers, therapists, and other professionals who have information about your child’s condition to speak with us and provide supporting disability evidence so we can obtain the necessary information before filing your application.

At Ghitterman, Ghitterman & Feld, our California childhood disability benefits attorneys have six physical offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura, and Visalia, and our top-tier technologies provide a virtual reach to serve clients throughout California. We offer free in-person, telephone, and virtual consultations to offer straightforward legal advice for your unique needs.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options to pursue the best outcome for your child’s critical case. =

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