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Did Your Newborn Suffer Cerebral
Palsy or Another Brain Injury Before
or During Labor and Delivery?

Learn More

Our Birth Brain Injury Resource Guide

the guide

Get a FREE guide of resources available throughout Ohio to children and families of children who were born with brain injuries.

Our guide can help you build a foundation of knowledge and tools that will help you help your child
now and in the future.

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What You Need to Know about SSI

Supplemental Security Income, or SSI for short, is a Federal program that helps those who are disabled and unable to generate their income. The purpose of the money is to help those who need it obtain food, clothing and other necessities.

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Even those who are under age 18 may be considered disabled for SSI benefits if they have a condition that creates severe functional limitations or may result in death. The condition must last more than 12 months continually. Parents may obtain SSI benefits for their under-age disabled child.

Where to Go in Ohio

If you want to apply for Security Income benefits for a qualifying child, you will go to one of the local Social Security offices in the state. Most mid-sized cities have an office, and large cities like Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo have two or more. You may call 1-800-772-1213 to set up an appointment with a local office, which will then tell you where it is located. You can also call the local office directly. Enter your local zip code in the Social Security office locator website to find the office closest to where you live.

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Another option is to talk to a personal injury attorney who can help you file a claim for Security Income for your child. Since you may be entitled to compensation if the disability was caused by a birth injury, the attorney can help you with various aspects of your case, including filing a claim.

How to Apply for SSI

You may apply for benefits any time after the child is born once a disability has been diagnosed. You will fill out the required application with all of the information requested or apply over the phone and answer the questions. Once you complete your application, it is reviewed by the Division of Disability Determination (DDD) to determine if the child has a qualifying disability.

Statistics are not good for people who apply for SSI in Ohio. With the initial application, only about 30 percent are approved. However, you can request reconsideration if you are denied by filing a form called Request for Reconsideration. Another 12 percent obtain approval at this point. If this step does not work in your favor, your next option is to request a hearing in front of a judge. The average wait time for the hearing to take place after a request has been submitted is 14 months. Another 60 percent are approved at this time.

As you can see, the majority of people who apply for SSI for themselves or a family member are approved, but it can often take over a year for approval. You also have to complete multiple steps to reach that point. Hiring an attorney to help you can cut this time down. If your claim goes to a hearing, it will be held at one of the Offices of Adjudication & Review (ODAR). There are six such offices in Ohio: Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

What You Will Need to Apply

When you apply for your child to receive SSI benefits, you will need to bring several items with you. They include the following:

  • Social Security card or another record that shows the Social Security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Names and contact information for doctors the child has seen or hospitals and clinics where they have received care and treatment for their condition
  • Proof of US citizenship
  • Proof of bank account to receive payments
  • Proof of residence
  • Proof of income for parents as well as any valuable assets you own

You may be eligible for other assistance when applying for SSI such as Medicaid or other programs to help with costs for the disabled child.

SSI can help with the extra costs of raising a disabled child. However, it is a complicated and lengthy process to obtain approval. If you are the parent of a child with a birth injury, you should contact an attorney to help you file for SSI and any other benefits to which the child may be entitled. Also, you may be eligible for compensation from a responsible party for the injury.