If you have a disabled child, you may be worried about how you will be able to pay for care and medical treatment. It can cost millions of dollars to raise a disabled child over his or her lifetime.

The Social Security Administration has created a program for disabled children that provides ongoing monthly payments, known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program offers SSI payments for children under the age of 18 who have been disabled. The Social Security Administration considers a child disabled if he or she has a physical condition or mental condition, or a combination of conditions that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” The condition must be one that seriously limits your child’s activities and must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months or could result in death.

The Florida Disability Determination Services will make the decision regarding eligibility. This agency will review your child’s medical history and condition. Your child’s doctors, teachers, therapists and professionals may be contacted by the agency, with your permission, to learn more about your child’s condition. All of this information will be used to determine if your child is eligible for SSI payments.

There are certain conditions that will qualify your child for immediate SSI payments. Some of these conditions include HIV, blindness, deafness, Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, mental retardation and low birth weight. According to the Social Security Administration, these conditions are considered to be extremely limiting and often lead to disability. Immediate payments will become available while your child’s disability case is being reviewed by the Florida Disability Determination Services.