The fight to secure financial benefits from the government for a disabled minor child can be a long, grueling and emotional battle. "They ask for so much information that a lot of people give up," writes Linda G. in the Mothers of Special Needs Children community, referring to government programs that require what seems like endless documentation. Yet for those who persist, success provides desperately needed dollars.
Here is some heart-felt advice from Circle of Moms members who've been through the experience of obtaining benefits for a disabled minor.
"Social Security nearly 100 percent of the time will deny any application the first time," posts Amy L. in the Mothers of Special Needs Children community. "My daughter's disease has a 100 percent approval rate, but they still denied it initially. I had to appeal twice."
Her advice: Keep appealing. Be stubborn. Don't give up.
"Show them you are serious. Keep them up to date with changes, doctor's appointments, etc. Request a social worker assists you with appeals if necessary," Amy L. advises.
Perseverance and a little string-pulling is what Mandy C. suggests.
"No matter how many times they deny, you keep appealing it. Get your physician and therapists involved," she writes.
Becky S. encourages taking the fight for benefits one step further: "Go get a lawyer for Social Security benefits," she advises. "They can get you benefits your child needs. They get results faster than you can get on your own."
And mom of TEN Linda G. suggests making the fight an even more personal endeavor by providing case workers with an up-close encounter with your child.
"Bring your child to your appeal so they can see for themselves what you have to deal with," Linda G. posts. "We did. That's when we got approved."
Frustratingly enough, getting approval for financial assistance for a disabled minor child isn't a reality for many of the families struggling to meet the monetary demands of raising a child with special challenges. This is the case for Sabrina R.
"Disability denied my disabled son benefits," she writes in the Mothers of Special Needs Children community. "Why is this even happening?" She explains that the denial was due to financial reasons. "Apparently you have to have an income no greater than $938 a month to qualify. Are you kidding me? This money is not for us. It's for him."
Unfortunately, government programs do not take into account the extra financial burden having a child with a disability can place on a family. Strict income-based guidelines are in force under federal policies. These income guidelines are not solely based on the child's income. Until the age of 18. parent's income counts as well in determining financial need.
"We consider your child's income and resources. We also consider the income and resources of family members living in the child's household," is the explanation given in the electronic book Benefits For Children With Disabilities published on the federal Social Security Administration website.
While the federal government sets basic family income guidelines, various states amend these to better reflect local economic conditions. Each state is different. The best way to find out the what the income guidelines are where you live is to check with your local Social Security office.
Should your family's income fall within guidelines, you still must prove your child's disability. "That is the key," states Florida mom Tara P. "To show that he (or she) is disabled compared to his (or her) peers and how it impacts him (or her)."
A big step toward getting an approval is to have disability-demonstrating documentation at the ready when first applying for benefits. "Be prepared to have stuff from your doctor with the diagnosis on it, stuff from psychologists, and stuff from school, like an IEP (Individual Education Plan) that states their disability," suggests Ashley K. in the Autism/Aspergers/PDD Awareness community.
Being prepared with paperwork in hand is what Angela M. did to secure disability payments for her son: "I had a little folder I brought to the appointment with me that contained EVERYTHING given to me from any doctors appointments that proved he had autism, a letter from his neurologist stating it wasn't a temporary diagnosis, and then a financial list of my income and how it was spent (bills, food, diapers, doctor appointments) and when they saw that what I needed was more than what I made, my son was approved," she shares. "You can't rely on the doctors to have and or send all the needed information, so it's good to keep your own records of your child's medical history handy for reason like this."
Have you faced a battle for benefits? What did you do to win it?
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.