Monthly Archives: November 2013

Only 14 percent of low-income kids with disabilities receive SSI

Raising a child with a disability in the Midwest is no easy task. Parents of children with disabilities face a number of challenges in order to provide their children with the best quality of life possible. One undertaking that is often much more difficult than it ought to be is obtaining federal disability benefits.

Many children with disabilities in the Midwest are eligible for Supplemental Security Income benefits. SSI is a disability need-based program that is designed to provide disability benefits for those who have never worked or have not earned enough work credits to obtain Social Security disability insurance benefits.

SSI benefits are only available to children if their family income and assets do not exceed certain levels. However, many children and families who do meet the SSI requirements are denied benefits.

According to a recent news report, a mere 14 percent of low-income families with children with disabilities currently receive SSI. The National Organization of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives also reported that in 2012 less than one-quarter of all children with disabilities in the U.S. received SSI.

There are a number of complex factors that lead six in 10 child SSI applicants to be denied benefits.

A recent news report chronicled the case of a young girl who suffered paralysis in her arm due to a birth injury. The girl, now 2, cannot change her own clothes, climb stairs or be potty-trained due to the injury. Her parents bring in only $17,000 annually, which is far below the poverty level, but this family has been denied SSI benefits for reasons that are not clear.

This family is not alone, as there are many SSI claims that are turned down when, in fact, the child and the family are eligible for benefits.

When families are considering applying for SSI benefits for a child with disabilities, it can be beneficial to seek advice. After receiving a denial, it is also wise to seek a disability representative regarding filing an appeal. Contact Disability Professionals Llc regarding questions and dedicated representation.

VA says it’s committed to reducing benefits claims backlog

We have shared how delays in processing have led to many veterans having to wait months or even years to see their veterans’ disability claims acted on. While progress has so far been slow, there is news that should be welcomed by disabled veterans in Minnesota and around the country.

The VA says it has reduced the claim background by more than one-third since March of this year. The stated goal of the department is to completely eliminate the backlog in 2015. There is still much work to be done to get there, however.

One of the overarching goals is to transform the claims and appeals process from one that is weighed down by forms into one that is paperless and handled on computers. This also reduces the chances that a particular file might be misplaced or lost. One of the department’s other initiatives is to make sure that there are enough claims processors to do the work in a timely matter. Many employees received overtime this year to help catch up with the backlog. Officials say that if they receive full funding, then they will continue doing so next year as well.

The undersecretary of veterans affairs for benefits said recently that 99.9 percent of claims that had been pending for more than two years have now been completed. While that represents a great majority of claims, there are still disabled veterans who need assistance. They might consider working with an experienced Social Security Disability benefits representative for help.