Qualifying for Disability Benefits with Kawasaki Disease
By: SSD Help
If your child has Kawasaki disease (KD) and you are finding that he or she is having difficulty in school and medical bills are piling up, you may be eligible for assistance. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers monthly resources to people in need. Not everyone with KD will qualify, but depending on the severity of your child’s KD, he or she may be eligible for up to $750 per month to help pay for medical bills, babysitters or daycare, household utility bills, food costs, and any other daily living needs.
Technical Eligibility With KD
Children will be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, or SSI benefits. The SSA only awards these benefits to people with a severe financial need. So even if you or your spouse earns a decent wage, your child will not be eligible for Social Security disability. Your specific income limitation varies depending on how large your family is. For example, a single parent with one child with KD could only earn $39,000 per year and still have her child qualify, while a family of five could earn up to $57,000. You can review the SSA’s chart on SSI income limits for families online.
Unfortunately, financial limitations are the most common reason for childhood SSD benefits to be denied. If this happens to you, keep in mind that once your child turns 18 your income will no longer count towards SSI limits, even if your child still lives at home with you.
Medical Eligibility With KD
The SSA uses its own medical guide, known as the Blue Book when reviewing every application for disability benefits and awarding disability benefits accordingly. There is not a listing for KD specifically, but the SSA does state that it will evaluate applicants with KD under the major coronary artery aneurysm listing, or the heart failure listing. This means that if your child’s complications of KD have the same test results outlined in either Blue Book listing, he or she could be approved for benefits.
For example, for a child to qualify with chronic heart failure, you must have medical records proving one of the following:
- A high heart rate for your child’s age. This will vary depending on how old your child is—a child less than one year needs to have a heart rate at 150+ BPM, while a child who’s 15 and older only needs to have 100+ BPM
- Your child has a very low exercise tolerance and may go into heart failure when doing simple exercise.
- Your child experienced growth failure due to heart problems. You can review the SSA’s chart on growth minimum by age online.
The Blue Book was written for medical professionals but is available for anyone to review online. Go over the cardiovascular listings with your child’s cardiologist to determine if his or her KD will be eligible for Social Security benefits.
How to Apply for Disability Benefits
If you are applying for disability benefits on behalf of a child with KD, you will need to complete the process at your closest SSA office. There are more than 1,300 offices located across the country. To make an appointment to apply online, call the SSA toll free at 1-800-772-1213. It should take the SSA three to five months to review your initial application. There is a thorough appeals process available if your child is denied benefits for any medical reason.
Once approved, you can focus on what’s important: your child’s health.