How much you can make for your disabled child to receive Supplemental Security Income benefits depends on two factors: the number of ineligible children and the number of parents in your household.

Your total income for your child will also be based upon your income after deeming your parental income, which is the amount you make after Social Security “deems” what your income will be after they’ve deducted which portion of your income goes to your disabled child and your other children. Your child’s income, if they have any, will also be taken into account.

Does this all sound insanely complicated? That’s because it is! The only way you can really find out if your child will qualify for SSI benefits and what your income needs to be for them to qualify is to apply.

If you are looking into SSI benefits for your child, you are far from alone. As of 2017, approximately 1.2 million disabled children were receiving SSI benefits. Raising a disabled child is expensive, and you may want to consider applying for any and all help you can get.

Costs Associated with Disabilities

Attorneys who specialize in birth injuries spend a lot of time with families who are suffering financially. According to Michigan Cerebral Palsy Lawyer, the following are some of the biggest expenses families face.

Medical Bills

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that the lifetime cost of care for a child with cerebral palsy or intellectual disability is ten times higher than they are for a child who does not have a disability. The medical costs for disabled children vs. kids without a disability are 26 times higher.

According to the CDC, the cost of raising a child with cerebral palsy is nearly $1 million. The cost of children born with CP in 2000 in the United States alone was estimated to be $11.5 billion. So yes, you’re worried, and that’s completely understandable.

Rehabilitation Therapy

There are many types of therapy that can benefit your child, but they are expensive and growing more so every year. According to one 2018 study, between 2007 and 2013, the total costs increased significantly in babies and kids up to six years of age. Individuals with CP who are 19 and older also saw a significant increase compared to the seven to 18 group.

Physical therapy is just one kind of therapy kids with CP can benefit from. The average cost of physical therapy is anywhere from $20 to $350 per session. The average cost with insurance is $30 and without is $125. Many kids with CP are excluded from insurance coverage because it is a preexisting condition, so you can see why parents are crumbling under financial pressure.

Special Needs Equipment

Adaptive technology is also expensive. The debate is still on regarding who should have to pay for these devices and how accessible they should be. Experts are also looking into how costs can be lowered, but in the meantime, a single device can still cost as much as a laptop.

Alterations to Your Vehicle and Home

According to the website, the average homeowner spends $2,488 to $5,587 to remodel their house to make it handicap accessible. Over half of people with CP do not require mobility assistance, but that leaves nearly half who do.

If you think that’s expensive, wait until you see how much it costs to convert your vehicle so it’s wheelchair accessible. And that’s only if it’s able to be converted at all and it doesn’t have to be completely replaced. The average cost to convert a van is $10,000 to $20,000. This is dependent on the type of alteration you need and the kind of vehicle you have.

No matter what your income is, it’s worth applying for benefits for your child to help offset the cost of care. Even if your child doesn’t qualify for SSI benefits, there are still non-profit and privately funded organizations that may be able to help. Anytime anyone has a child, it’s going to be expensive, but as you can see these costs go far above and beyond the norm.