Every parent in New Jersey with a child suffering from a mental illness should know when the child is eligible for Social Security benefits from the government and how to receive such benefits. Childhood mental disorders refer to all types of mental disorders which can be diagnosed and begin in childhood. Mental disorders among children are described as significant changes in the way in which a child learns, behaves and handles emotions.
Mental illness can be chronic and can continue through the entire lifespan of the individual. Mental disorder may affect any child, regardless of age, region or racial or ethnic background. If not treated at an early stage, such illnesses can severely hamper healthy development of the child. Some common mental disorders among children include attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, behavior disorders and disorders due to a mother’s substance use.
Supplemental Security Income payments are available for children with disabilities, depending on the child and its family members’ income and resources. In order to be eligible for SSI payments, a child must have a physical or mental condition which seriously limits the child’s activities for at least 12 continuous months. The child must not be working or earning more than a stipulated amount a month.
Every parent or guardian applying for Social Security benefits for a child suffering from mental disorder must provide all information regarding the condition of the child and how it affects the child’s ability to function on a day-to-day basis. This information is reviewed by Disability Determination Services and additional information might be sought from the child’s doctor, teacher or therapist. The child’s medical condition is also reviewed from time to time to ensure that the child is still eligible for SSI payments.
Social Security Insurance payments vary from state to state, and different criteria are used to assess the condition for eligibility of SSI payments once the child becomes an adult at the age of 18. If you are the parent of a child suffering from any such condition, you may visit your local Social Security Administration office and or an experienced attorney dealing with Social Security claims and appeals to seek further details.
Source: CDC.gov, “Children’s Mental Health,” Accessed on Jan. 8, 2015