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Social Security disability benefits may cover birth injuries

A sad but true reality is that many children born in New Jersey are injured at the time of their birth. The reasons for those injuries are varied and parents may seek recourse accordingly. However, despite any or all recourse, children injured at birth often face various challenges for the rest of their lives. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration acknowledges the gravity of birth injuries and offers benefits to children who pass the eligibility criteria.

According to existing rules, children who suffered a birth injury are eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. The purpose of providing SSI is to help parents meet the various financial challenges that they face when raising a child disabled at birth. Some of the common birth-related disabilities covered by the Social Security program are cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, Down's syndrome, total blindness or deafness and various intellectual disorders.

Eligibility criteria for birth injury-related Social Security disability benefits stipulate that a child's income should not be more than a specified limit. However, because most children have no income, the income factor is generally not a major hindrance in obtaining disability benefits. Rather, the SSA's focus is more on the medical evidence provided at the time of application and the income of the child's parents. Additionally, similar to other criteria for disability, a birth injury-related disability must last more than a year.

While one of the Social Security Administration's missions is to provide financial assistance to disabled individuals, the fact is that many disability claims are rejected. The reasons for such rejections are many, but often the application filed was not comprehensive enough. To address such issues, parents of a child who suffered a birth injury may want to consult a Social Security attorney who can help them obtain the benefits needed to provide necessary long-term care for their child.

Source: BirthInjuryGuide.org, "Governmental Services for Babies with Birth Injuries," Accessed July 29, 2014

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