May 31, 2011, 10:11 AM
Post #1 of 1
Question - from a concerned Grandparent of a child with a disability:
Q&A - Government Benefits for 13 yr old child w/ disability
"I am grandmother to a 13 year old Rett child. She lives with her mom. My question has to do with my granddaughter's government disability payments.
In your seminar, I believe you said that a disabled person is entitled to $674.00 a month from the government. My former daughter-in-law has to take her check stubs to Social Security each month to have the amount she will receive for her daughter calculated. Sometimes she gets zero. She hasn't received a payment since February. When she calls Social Security she gets the runaround. She is a struggling single parent working 2 jobs and she still ends up having to charge food. We help as we can. My son does pay child support.
Can the government really do this? My granddaughter is profoundly disabled as are all Rett Girls.
Would you please share your expertise and advise us."
Answer - from Mary Anne Ehlert, President & Founder, Protected Tomorrows, Inc.
When a person with a disability is under the age of 18, the PARENT'S assets and income apply to the benefit. That is why your daughter-in-law has to take her check stubs to Social Security each month. It is quite difficult to get any benefits for a child when the parent is making any kind of money. When your granddaughter turns 18, she will receive $674 (or equivalent amount at the time) each month. But until then, your son and daughter-in-law’s income will apply.
When your granddaughter turns 18, your son should be required to continue to pay child support. That child support will be need to be paid by court order to a payback special needs trust. Otherwise, the government will consider that your granddaughter's income, and she will receive 1/3 less.
I encourage the family to get the special needs trusts in place. You will need both a 3rd party special needs trust for savings and inheritances, and a 1st party special needs trust for the child support. A grandparent can set those up on behalf of your grandchild.
If you have a question about your specific situation, please post a new thread on this forum. A Protected Tomorrows Advocate will answer your question.
Director of Professional & Corporate Advocacy Services
(This post was edited by Jeannettemgr on May 31, 2011, 4:23 PM)