Q: Do disabled children qualify for benefits?
A: Yes. There are two disability programs run by Social Security that include benefits for disabled children. Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, a child from birth to age 18 may receive monthly payments based on disability or blindness if:
• The child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meet the definition of disability for children;
• And the income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits.
Under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, an adult child (a person age 18 or older) may receive monthly benefits based on disability or blindness if:
• The child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meet the definition of disability for adults;
• The disability began before age 22, and
• The adult child’s parent worked long enough to be insured under Social Security and is receiving retirement or disability benefits or is deceased.
You will find helpful links to the online forms and the steps you need to take to apply for childhood disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability.
Q: I understand you must have limited resources to be eligible for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. What does this mean?
A: To qualify for Extra Help in 2013, your resources are limited to $13,300 for an individual or $26,580 for a married couple living together.
Resources include the value of the things you own. Some examples are real estate (other than your primary residence); bank accounts, including checking, savings, and certificates of deposit; stocks; bonds, including U.S. Savings Bonds; mutual funds; Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs); and cash at home or anywhere else. To learn more about Extra Help, and to apply online, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or email: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.