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down syndrome

Can I Get Disability for My Child with Down Syndrome?

If your child has Down syndrome , there are many steps you can take to give him or her a happy, healthy, and rewarding life. To qualify for any kind of disability benefits administered through the SSA, specific medical criteria must be met. If there is a medical diagnosis of Trisomy 21 or Translocation Down syndrome, your child will automatically qualify for disability benefits. But there are other government programs available in California for financial assistance, and it can be possible to receive all these financial benefits to help your family provide the best life possible for your child with Down syndrome.

Does Your Child with Down Syndrome Qualify for SSI?

Conditions like Down syndrome are recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA) as potentially disabling and you or your child may be qualified for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through one of both of the SSA’s disability programs. However, there are financial limitations to this program.

Does Your Child with Down Syndrome Qualify for IHSS?

If you live in California, another option is In-Home Support Services (IHSS). IHSS is a California government program that provides financial support for in-home caretakers of children with developmental disabilities including Down syndrome. While a variety of benefits are available, the most important for families of children with special needs is “Protective Supervision.”

When you are approved for Protective Supervision, you will receive an hourly wage to stay home and care for your child. This wage is exempt from federal income taxes.

If you are a California resident, you are eligible for IHSS financial benefits if your child:

  • Is eligible for SSI/SSP or Medi–Cal
  • Is blind or disabled
  • Is living in a home, apartment or abode of his or her choosing (not including a hospital, nursing home, assisted living or licensed care facility)
  • Is unable to live safely at home without care

How much money can I get for IHSS?

Payments are calculated by the hours of service needed for your child. The County Social Services Agency is responsible for doing a needs assessment for each family at the time of application, every twelve months thereafter, and whenever the county has information that the recipient’s physical/mental condition or living/social condition has changed. The number of hours authorized may change with each evaluation.

The assessment evaluates:

  • Your child’s physical/mental condition, living/social situation, and ability to perform various functions of daily life
  • Your statement of need 
  • Medical records/physicians’ documents 
  • Other information the case manager may consider necessary and appropriate to assess the need

The State allocates monthly services hours to a maximum of 195 hours per month for non–severely impaired applicants and 283 hours per month for the severely impaired. This can translate to up to $3,000 a month in financial benefits, if eligible.

Few things can make such a big difference in the lives of a family as the ability to give your child with special needs the full care he or she deserves, without endangering your family finances. If your child has been diagnosed with Down syndrome or another development disability, early intervention is key, and you could be eligible for Protective Supervision.

If you feel overwhelmed and you need help, please contact us.

American Disability Association is dedicated to the wellbeing and protection of children with disabilities and actively provides support to enhance their quality of life. Whether you are dealing with federal or state benefits or struggling with a school district to get proper education for your child, we have the resources to help you. Many individuals and families managing a disability are not aware of the wide array of services available to them, or they do not know how to apply for these benefits in a way that is likely to succeed.

Contact us for help. Dial (888) 323-2133 or email us at [email protected]