By Mary Waltari, Esq.

Are you aware of the federal government programs available to minors? Some cover all minors and some cover only minors with disabilities. They vary from cash payments to healthcare coverage to a range of other supports.

Cash Payments

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Children with qualifying disabilities whose families meet SSI’s low income and asset requirements are eligible to receive monthly cash payments intended to help families meet their child’s needs. The resources and income of the minor’s parents are “deemed” to the child. The 2016 resource limit is $3,000 for a two- adult household and $2,000 for a one-adult household, although the value of the family home, furnishings and automobile is not considered. Income limits are based on a complex formula dependent on certain factors, such as household income and how many individuals are living in the home. If the family meets the income and asset limits and the minor child meets the SSI disability standard, the minor child may receive a monthly SSI payment of up to $733. A few states provide a supplement to this amount.

Social Security Survivor Benefits/Social Security Disability Benefits

Monthly cash benefits are available for unmarried children under 18 upon the death, retirement or disability of a parent who is eligible for Social Security. Amounts are calculated based on the parent’s lifetime earnings. Upon turning 18, a person with a qualifying disability who has been receiving these Social Security benefits could receive Social Security Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits, with payments continuing throughout life so long as the person continues to meet eligibility standards.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

This program provides temporary financial assistance and other services to assist low-income parents in caring for their children in their home, while promoting job preparation, work and marriage. Eligibility requirements and monthly cash assistance vary by state and are not limited to families raising a child with a disability.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

This program (formerly called Food Stamps) provides low-income individuals assistance with purchasing food through an electronic debit card. It is available for families who meet the household eligibility requirements, as determined by their state. SNAP is not limited to children or adults with disabilities, but there are special eligibility provisions for individuals with disabilities.

VA Pensions

The various VA benefits take into consideration whether the veteran has a dependent child. Veteran’s Aid and Attendance is a cash payment available to low-income veterans with disabilities, which is increased if the veteran has a dependent child. An individual’s residence and vehicle are not considered when calculating eligibility, and medical expenses are deducted from countable income.



Funded by both the federal and state governments, this program varies greatly, depending on location. In most states, if a child with disabilities receives SSI, he/she is automatically qualified for Medicaid. In other states, the child may qualify based on meeting the income and resource requirements. In addition, for some Medicaid waiver programs, if the child is cared for at home but requires the level of care provided in an institution, s/he can be found eligible. In addition to covering health care, the program pays for durable medical equipment and, depending upon the state’s waiver programs, in-home support and other community-based services. Given long waiting lists for many waiver programs, it may be important to sign up early.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

This program varies by state and is referred to by different names in each. It provides comprehensive health coverage, including dental care, to individuals under 19 whose families can’t afford private insurance but whose incomes are too high for Medicaid. There is usually no asset limit. In some states, a modest premium is charged to those at the higher end of the income spectrum.

Depending on where you live, there may be other state programs available to children with disabilities. For instance, in California, where I practice law, there are services for children and adults with developmental disabilities offered through Regional Centers. Families should contact the Department of Health and Human Services information centers or local disability groups for information on programs available in their state.

Benefits for Parents Caring for a Disabled Child

Caring for a disabled child can undoubtedly be a challenging task, but it also comes with many unique benefits for parents. While other parents may take their child’s milestones for granted, every accomplishment a disabled child makes can feel like a monumental achievement for their caregiver. Parents who care for a disabled child will typically develop a heightened sense of empathy and patience, allowing them to become better listeners and communicators with their child. Additionally, many parents find that this experience brings them closer as a family, as they learn to cherish the small moments together and rely on each other’s support. Despite the many obstacles that parents of disabled children face, these benefits can help to offset some of those challenges and provide a more profound appreciation for all that their child has to offer.

Financial help for parents with special needs child

Parents with special needs children often face a variety of challenges on a daily basis. Among the many obstacles they face, finances can be a major source of stress. Caring for a child with special needs can be expensive, and many parents may struggle to afford the necessary expenses. Fortunately, there are financial assistance programs available to help parents who have a child with special needs. These programs offer support for a variety of expenses, from medical costs to adaptive equipment. Parents can also explore government-funded programs and community resources that can provide additional financial support. With these resources, parents can focus on providing their child with the best care possible without worrying about the financial burden it may bring.

Do parents get money for iep students

Parents of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) often wonder if they can receive financial support for their child’s education. The short answer is that parents do not receive money specifically for having an IEP student. However, federal and state laws provide funding for special education services to be offered in public schools, and these services are typically included in a student’s IEP. Additionally, some school districts may offer grants or financial assistance programs for families with special needs students. It’s important for parents to understand the resources available to them and to work closely with their child’s school to ensure their needs are being met.

Special Needs Programs

Special needs programs are an essential component of any educational system. These programs cater to the unique needs of students with disabilities, such as physical, intellectual, and emotional impairments. They are designed to provide support and assistance to students so that they can achieve their full potential and lead fulfilling lives. Special needs programs offer a variety of services, including individualized education plans, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioral counseling, and social skills training. These programs ensure that students with disabilities receive the same opportunity to learn and succeed as their peers without disabilities. The positive impact of special needs programs is immeasurable, and they play a critical role in shaping the future of students with disabilities.

Services for children with disabilities

When it comes to ensuring that children with disabilities receive the support and services they need, there are various options available. These services may range from physical therapy to occupational therapy to specialized care in schools. Depending on the child’s specific needs, there are a variety of professionals who may be involved in providing care and support, ranging from speech therapists to behavioral therapists. It is important for parents and caregivers to do their research and advocate for their child to receive the best possible care and support. With the right services, children with disabilities can thrive and reach their full potential.

About this Article: We hope you find this article informative, but it is not legal advice. You should consult your own attorney, who can review your specific situation and account for variations in state law and local practices. Laws and regulations are constantly changing, so the longer it has been since an article was written, the greater the likelihood that the article might be out of date. SNA members focus on this complex, evolving area of law. To locate a member in your state, visit Find an Attorney.

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