Is it worth it to file?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by babybear, Jun 30, 2006.

  1. babybear

    babybear New Member

    My sister, a county financial worker, has been trying to convince me to file for ssi for difficult child. I had started the process last year but it seemed like an awful lot of work for a very small amount of additional money.( about $35 a month was what I was told then)

    Now even that would help, but is it worth it?? I really hate dealing with all that paperwork. Like there isn't enough already! I am self-employed so my income goes up and down a lot. Also, my sister seems to think that the interviewer was probably trying to discourage me from applying. Her job involves working with people who are coming to the end of eligibility for benefits and she helps a lot of people through the ssi process so she does have experience with it.

    Any opinions from those who have been through the process would help a lot. I would like to get a realistic idea of what the benefit amounts are. If you are not comfortable sharing that info publically, feel free to send a private message.

    thanks in advance
  2. OTE

    OTE Active Member

    I have 2 kids on SSI. Yes, it's a lot of paperwork and it doesn't end when you get approved. Even after you start collecting every year you have to tell them your income and prove it with paperwork. What happens is that they work up an estimate of what your income will be for the coming year and pay you on that basis monthly. At the end of the year you tell them what your actual income was and if it was lower than anticipated you'd get a lump sum check for the additional amt or they'd send you a bill for the amt due them. If you don't pay the amt due them they take 10% of every future check until they've been repaid the overage.

    Whether or not it's worth it is up to you. On the one hand $35/ mo hardly seems worth it. On the other hand, $35/mo till she's 18, if put into a savings acct for her, could give her a little money to start college.

    One of the other major benefits is the automatic medicaid which comes with SSI in most states. If you are self-employed and currently paying for her medical insurance ... well I'm not sure about this but I'd ask if you could drop her off your insurance and just use Medicaid. Now whether or not you'd want to do that I would guess would depend on whether or not you like the services that you could get from Medicaid. In most areas private doctors don't take Medicaid. But if nothing else, Medicaid would be secondary insurance and you could submit any medical deductibles and co-pays to them for payment.

    Other services would depend on what's available in your area. eg you mention Aspie. Perhaps your medical insurance won't cover a social skills class. But you might find one at a hospital clinic that would take Medicaid. So defining what you want for your child from Medicaid might be the first step. I can tell you from experience that if you are thinking about Residential Treatment Center (RTC) some day having the SSI and Medicaid in place will make the process quicker. Without that it takes a lot longer to get the funding for Residential Treatment Center (RTC).

    Yes, in the beginning they do try to discourage you from applying for SSI. I can't say that I think they'd lie about the amount you qualify for but it does depend on your income. The monthly cash amount can go up to $603/mo. That's the max Federal amount though some states do supplement with a little more money.

    in my humble opinion the other important point to think about in deciding whether or not to file is the chances of whether or not your child will be approved. It's a lot of hassle if your child doesn't stand much chance of approval. My particular concern in your info here is that her only diagnosis is ADHD and maybe aspie. I did go through the process for my third son who is significantly ADHD and learning disabled. Despite the fact that he had been in a self-contained class until middle school and then in "resource room" or "team teaching", despite demonstration of significant LDs, he was not approved. The point is that they only approve "severe" cases. Obviously your relative thinks that your difficult child would qualify. Is she in a self-contained class or Special Education school? What evidence do you have that she is "severe"?