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The state of SSD benefits for disabled children

We have mentioned before that under certain circumstances, disabled children can receive government benefits that will help to pay for any special needs they may have. When children qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, the extra money provided for them and their caregivers can mean the difference between adequate care and inadequate care. However, it is important for parents seeking these benefits to keep a few things in mind.

If your child is disabled to the point that he or she will not be able to seek gainful employment in the future, then remaining a beneficiary of the SSD program may be the absolute best thing for your child. In fact, the majority of children who receive SSD benefits will remain beneficiaries of this program throughout their lives and that is certainly understandable.

However, some disabled children will be able to transition into gainful employment once they are older. There are often income limits imposed on individuals who receive any kind of government subsidy. As a result, it is important to plan for a transition away from benefits carefully should your child become gainfully employed in the future.

It can be a shock to the family budget when benefits decrease or cease altogether. Therefore, you should speak to either your attorney or a financial planner about how best to approach budgeting for your child’s care once he or she is earning a paycheck. Not all parents are aware that their child’s employment will affect benefit amounts. Understanding income limits and preparing accordingly can decrease the stress levels of all family members once your child transitions into the workforce.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, “The Changing Role of Disabled Children Benefits,” Richard V. Burkhauser and Mary C. Daly, Sep. 3, 2013

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