I was recently asked whether a young child who was recently diagnosed with cancer would be eligible to receive disability benefits, specifically, the parents wanted to know whether they could obtain cash benefits to help with medical costs and/or Medicare/Medicaid benefits.
The answer to this question depends on the specific circumstances of the child’s case and the parents’ income and resources.
From the Social Security perspective, a child (under age 18) may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (Title XVI). To qualify for SSI, the child’s disability must meet two requirements (1) medical and (2) income/resource. From a medical standpoint, the child needs to either meet a Childhood Listing or must have marked limitations in two of five functional domains or an extreme limitation in one domain. The child (and his parents/guardians) will also have to meet the SSI resource and income limitations in order to qualify. The SSI income and resource limits are very low and usually disqualify most children whose parents are working class or higher. Generally, if the child and the family qualify for SSI, they will also obtain Medicaid.
The other question is, even if SSI benefits are unavailable due to resources/income, whether the child or his family may qualify for medical assistance. Unfortunately, in many cases, the answer is no or very limited help. Medicaid or medical assistance qualification in Louisiana is described by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. Medicare qualification can be found on the SSA website.
If your child has a disability and you are curious about your child’s eligibility, it never hurts to talk to a skilled Social Security attorney who can give you intelligent answers that steer you in the right direction. Contact disability attorney, Loyd Bourgeois, at 985-240-9773 for a free case evaluation.