Taking care of a family member with special needs requires a special kind of devotion from those who want the best possible quality of life for their loved one. Unfortunately, this care does not end when the child grows up.
Fortunately, there are government programs that can give basic support to such individuals for food, clothing and shelter. But the assistance may not provide everything they will need.
The challenge for families of individuals with special needs is to make sure that they can find ways to meet their adult child’s needs without compromising their eligibility for these programs.
Social Security benefits for disabled individuals
Social Security Income (SSI) is a federal program funded by general tax revenues to provide monthly assistance to those special needs individuals who qualify. The amount for an eligible recipient depends on where the individual resides, as some states also fund the program. Indiana offers a supplementary benefit for individuals who cannot live on their own and must have care in a residential facility.
The eligibility requirements for SSI benefits, however, are quite strict. Individuals must be disabled or blind and must have resources of less than $2,000. They must be able to prove that they cannot work full-time due to their condition. Any supplemental income sources will reduce the benefit or disqualify the special needs individual from receiving assistance.
Adults with special needs may also qualify for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if they have been disabled since childhood. To be eligible, the individual must have had the disability before the age of 22, and one of the parents must either be a recipient of retirement or disability benefits or have passed away and worked long enough to receive Social Security.
The challenges of applying for benefits
Whether the parents of a disabled adult child apply for a guardianship role or choose another avenue, without a doubt their child will need assistance in the application process for governmental assistance. The claims process is complicated and involves not only the fulfillment of eligibility and financial requirements, but as the application moves through the administrative system, may involve hearings, denials and appeals before final approval.
For parents living in Indianapolis and surrounding areas, having a trusted source to provide guidance during this time will not only offer a range of options depending on your family’s unique circumstances, but will also provide detailed assistance that will help you to avoid mistakes during the process that could affect the outcome of your claim.