If you have been supporting an adult child with an intellectual disability, you may be worrying about what will happen to them when you are no longer able to take care of them. If your child is not currently receiving disability checks from the Social Security Administration, you should think about helping him or her to apply. Those disability checks could help your child survive financially in the future.
Here's what you need to consider:
1. The definition of "intellectual disability"
The phrase "intellectual disability" refers to limitations in intelligence as well as adaptive behaviors, and in most cases, intellectual disabilities originate before the age of maturity. If you want your child to get Social Security disability payments based on his or her intellectual disability, he or she must have been struggling with these issues since childhood.
If your child has an intellectual impairment due to a brain injury sustained as an adult or due to another reason, you may not be able to get him or her disability based on intellectual disability alone. Instead, you should consult with a disability attorney who can help you decide which angles to explore.
2. Your child's IQ
Your child's IQ can have a huge impact on his or her ability to be approved for a disability claim. The Social Security Administration uses three different IQ tiers. If your child scores below a 60 on an IQ test, he or she automatically qualifies in most cases. However, if he or she scores between a 60 and 70, he or she must also have difficulty completing other tasks related to day-to-day living.
3. How much help your child needs on a day-to-day basis
Disability checks are designed to provide income to people who cannot work. To help your child's claim, you need to be able to explain how much help he or she needs on a daily basis. Pay attention to what you do for your child every day and make notes about his or her needs.
If you have a home aide who helps with your child, also have them prepare statements about your child's day-to-day functioning.
4. Things can change
If you apply and your child's case is rejected, remember that things can change. For example, if your child's IQ is in the 60 to 70 range, and he or she currently doesn't have physical struggles, that may change. In particular, as he or she gets older, he or she may develop physical impairments that will make it possible to qualify for disability payments.
If you want to learn more about applying for disability payments for an adult child with an intellectual disability, contact a disability attorney from a company like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law.