Help! My Child was Denied SSI Benefits because I Work!

By: Disability Group

Disabled children under the age of 18 can qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if they meet the Social Security’s definition of disability for a child. Your child’s income and resources may affect their eligibility for the program. Social Security does take into account the household income when approving child cases because they recognize that families with lower income have a more difficult time making ends meet.

My child has no income, why does Social Security use my working income?

First, Social Security will consider your child’s income and resources. If the child’s parents have income and resources, Social Security Administration considers them available to the child through their parents. If the parent works and has resources the child is at an advantage, as opposed to a non-working parent with limited resources. Social Security’s process of deciding how much of the parents income and resources qualify is called “Deeming”.

When does “Deeming” apply?

Deeming applies when the child’s parents have resources and the child meets the following criteria:

  • Is less than 18 years of age
  • Lives at home with either birth parents or adoptive parents
  • The child lives away at school and visits their parents throughout the year and is still under their parent’s control.

I don’t have any income, is my spouse’s income deemed if they are my child’s step parent?

Step parent’s income and resources are deemed as long as either the birth parent or adoptive parent lives in the home. 

What does not get “deemed”?

Items not deemed are income from: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Department of Veterans Affairs’ pensions, county assistance, foster care benefits, and income that is used to pay court –ordered child support.

Examples of resources that are not deemed are if the parent owns only one property, if the parent only owns one car which is the sole means of transportation, and money in pension funds.

Although there are many items that are deemable, only a portion of the parent’s income or assets are deemable toward the child. The compete value of the assets, income or resources are not deemed.

 When does “deeming” stop?

Deeming stops on your child’s eighteenth birthday. If your child did not qualify for SSI because of deeming they may be able to receive SSI when they turn eighteen.

What will my child’s monthly payment be?

The amount is different in every state. The cost of living is a major factor in determining the actual amount each child gets. If you have questions about the specific amount, contact your local Social Security Office.