If you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with a mood disorder, such as bipolar or major depressive disorder, your child may qualify for SSI and Medicaid. This is important, especially if the mood disorder disrupts your child's life--and yours--to the point that it's difficult for you to earn a living. And, with Medicaid, your child may get the medication and professional care that he or she needs for proper treatment. Here's what you need to know.
Mood Disorder Requirements for Disability
Mood disorders can qualify as a disability, as long as several requirements are met. The requirements are based on criteria that are set forth by the Social Security Administration and are specific to various types of mood disorders and how those disorders affect various age groups. One specific qualification that is the same for each mood disorder is that there needs to be medical documentation of the disorder and a history of it, whether continuous or intermittent.
Documentation of Evaluations & Treatments
The more complete the packet of information is that you can present to the Social Security Administration, the better chance you'll have for your child to get approved as having a disability. It's important that your child's medical records are researched thoroughly by a trained professional to find instances that may have led to an earlier diagnosis or that may be considered as contributing to the diagnosis when it was finally given. For example, extreme behavior issues in the earlier years may have been a warning sign of bipolar or another mood disorder. This type of information can strengthen the case to show that there is a significant history of the mood disorder. This research can be coordinated by a disability lawyer.
Financial Records for Needs-Testing
The only disability payment type that is given to families with disabled children is supplemental security income (SSI), which is given based on need. Therefore, SSI payments are only given to those who have a low income and minimal assets. The qualifications depend on your location, allocations that may be given due to family size, and the cost of living expenses for your particular area. In many states, an application for SSI automatically gets sent through for Medicaid approval.
If you don't feel that you have a low enough income to qualify, apply anyway. The reason for this is because most states provide Medicaid to disabled children regardless of the income of the parents, which can definitely help if your child isn't covered with health insurance or your deductibles and co-pays are outrageous. Go to website for more information.