If your child has a disability, he or she may be eligible for benefits through the Social Security Administration. Benefit amounts are income-based according to the annual rates defined by the federal government. Determining how much your child might get before you file can be difficult, but the Social Security Administration does publish some guidelines. Here are a few steps that might help give you an idea of how much your child could qualify for.

Make Sure Your Income Level Qualifies

Before you apply, you'll have to be sure you're under the income threshold to qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration publishes a Deeming Eligibility Chart that includes the income limits for determining eligibility. Look under the proper column for your household composition, such as single-parent or dual-income household.

From there, find the total number of children in the house in the left-hand column. This should only include children other than the one you're seeking the benefits for. So, if you have three children and are applying for disability for one, look for "2" in the column. The income figure in the corresponding box where the household composition and number of children intersect is the income limit that applies for your eligibility.

This chart is applicable in most situations, though there are a few exceptions. In states that offer supplemental Social Security disability benefits, you'll need to reach out to a Social Security attorney before you file. The income limitations may be different in those areas. And, if you have both unearned and earned income, you're going to need legal advice.

Confirm the Annual Benefit Rates

The Social Security Administration releases new benefit figures annually. Check the benefit charts for the current year to see how much the maximum benefits would be if your child is approved. Make sure you're monitoring the most recent benefit charts, though, as they may adjust based on cost of living or other economic changes.

Determine How Much You're Contributing to Your Child's Care

This calculation is often the most difficult, because it's the most subjective. The Social Security Administration will rely on a series of determining factors to identify which costs will qualify as your contributions to care. To determine how much they are likely to accept as your current financial contribution, work with a Social Security disability attorney who can evaluate your expenses, look at the care receipts and help you determine eligibility. In most situations, if there is earned income in your household, the Social Security Administration will automatically isolate a percentage of that as going toward your child's care.

As you are evaluating the eligibility requirements, income limits and other information, it's important to remember that this calculation only applies for children. Once your child turns 18, your household income no longer applies. If your child still needs benefits at that time, he or she must apply and qualify as an adult.

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