Submitted by Eric Minghella (Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
If your child is experiencing hearing loss, then there may be help financially in terms of Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly benefits to those of all ages who cannot work because of a disability. If you believe that your child’s hearing loss will prevent them in the future to maintain regular employment, then they may be able to qualify for Social Security benefits. Here is how to apply for Social Security benefits on behalf of a child with hearing loss.
How to Qualify for SSI Benefits
There are two types of financial benefits that the SSA administers to people with disabilities. They are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI benefits are for those who have worked in the past, but can no longer because of a disability. If your child is under 21, most likely they will not have worked enough to qualify for SSDI benefits. They will most likely have to apply for SSI benefits. SSI benefits are for individuals with a disability and very low income, regardless of any prior. To qualify, the SSA must deem your child disabled, but there are also very strict financial requirements. If your child is under 18 and you the parent are working, the SSA will take into consideration some of your income and resources to be available to your child.
How to Medically Qualify Using the Blue Book
After the SSA takes into consideration the income and other financial requirements needed to qualify for SSI benefits, they will also consult their own Blue Book. The Blue Book is the informal name of the guide that lists the disabling conditions that qualify for Social Security benefits. There is a list of impairments for adults and children under 18. There are two ways a child can qualify for SSI benefits with hearing loss; if they’re treated without a cochlear implant and if they’re treated with a cochlear implant.
How to Qualify Without a Cochlear Implant
If your child does not have a cochlear implant, there are a couple of ways to qualify. If your child is 5 or under they can qualify:
- If their average air conduction hearing threshold is of 50 decibels or greater in the better ear.
If your child is between 5 and 18 they can qualify:
- If their average air conduction hearing threshold of 70 decibels or greater in the better ear and an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 40 decibels or greater in the better ear
- If their word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words
- If their average air conduction hearing threshold of 50 decibels or greater in the better ear and a marked limitation in speech or language
How to Qualify with a Cochlear Implant
If your child has a cochlear implant, they can qualify in two ways:
- If they have had a cochlear implant before age 5 or 1 year after the initial implantation, whichever one is later.
- If they have had a cochlear implant before age 5 or 1 year after the initial implantation and if their word recognition score is of 60% or less.
The entire Blue Book is available online for your review.
How to Start Your Application:
Applying for Social Security benefits is actually not as bad as you may think it is. If you are applying on behalf of your child, you will have to make an appointment at your local SSA office. There are 26 Social Security offices in the state of Indiana. When applying for SSI benefits with hearing loss, make sure you have as much medical evidence of your child’s condition as possible. The more medical evidence you have, the better. If you have any further questions can you also contact the SSA by calling toll free at 1-800-772-1213.