My husband wants me to look into Social Security for Bradley. I am almost positive we are over-income so I have been putting it off. I'm thinking, and I may be wrong, maybe he will qualify income wise when he is 18. I do know they reject applicants for the first few tries so maybe I should start applying since he 12 now.

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Hi Lisa

It is very difficult to get SS for a child. Once he turns 18 and doesn't have more than $2000 in assets he can sign up and get qualified for SSI and have access to DVR. Go to and it will give you all the info you need to set this up for him.

Other than your income, you also cannot have more than $5000 (for child w/2 parents) in assets/resources. This includes $ in your checking and savings accounts, cash, the value of a second vehicle, $ in an ESA (Education Savings Account), etc. Definitely check out the SS website first. They lay it all out. You can apply by telephone (and fax info) or make an appt. After he's 18, they won't count any assets/resources of parents. That is obviously much easier.
Also, if you're wondering if you are over-income now, but not sure, just call and ask. I've never been able to find - and I've tried- a written income guideline. That's not something they want the public to know. Obviously, they don't want people trying to work the system. Hope this helps!
Hello, My name is Tracey Smith and I have a son named Luke who has duchenne. I have applied for social security disability income and have been turned down twice. They don't think he qualifies! It is very frustrating because we do meet the income level. I'm debating on applying again. Most people that I have talked told me I should keep trying!
As others have said, make sure he does not have over $2000 in his name. We are in the process of starting a special needs trust fund for Wyatt. It is written so he cannot be disqualified for any government benefits when he turns 18 or if we would die and left him with our assetts (sp?) Just another thing to think about. Make sure your will would have it go to the trust fund.

Muscular Dystrophy is on the SS list of disabilities that are considered shoe-ins. Did you go through an application process? If you did, you should have received a denial letter giving instructions on appealing. Definitely appeal if denial was based on diagnosis. If the appeal process time table is past, you can always apply again. Also, they depend on medical records for diagnosis. The problem could have occured there - if his muscular dystrophy wasn't spelled out clearly.
My son just turned 18 and we are going to be starting the application soon. I know he would have never qualified with our income so I decided not to go through the hassle.

Here is a link that has an income chart, you have to scroll down to find it:

Thanks for linking to the income guidelines. Very helpful!
So all that money we have been putting in his savings and in a CD for college are going to be a problem. These are in our names as well as Bradley's name. We have been saving thinking he will not be elligible for a Pell Grant or State grant for school. I think my husband is going to make some changes on this. We may wait awhile before applying so this will not be an issue. Another thought I had was that we could use the money saved to purchase a power wheelchair because I doubt insurance will cover the entire cost.
Hi Lisa,
You have some good ideas about planning for the future. It's not a good idea to have a son's name on any joint account or an account with more than $2000 in it; it does affect the son's SSI. My sons had to wait until they they each turned 18 to apply. I was horrified to discover that at the time I inquired, their father's income was included, even tho we were divorced and had no access to his income. The process went smoothly and fairly quickly once they applied for SSI on their own.

About the power chair: check the coverage language in your insurance policy. With our company if the total rental cost will be higher than the price of the chair, the company will pay for durable medical equipment. We took the money we would have spent on the power chair and used it toward a van with a ramp: the best decision we could have made. The ramp vans are pricey, but sooo worth it with 2 sons who have DMD, but we also had some great vacations, got to visit a lot of friends and relatives, and Dr. visits were "easy". I have my own smaller car I drive to work, etc.

We still have the van and now their (responsible) friends/college classmates drive for school events, field trips and get togethers. They socialize & "Mom" doesn't always have to drive them, which I think we both appreciate. It's one of those "normal" things for them to do. (My sons are now 30 & 33.)

Hope this helps,
One thought on the chair . . . if you do qualify for SSI, one of the biggest perks is that medcaid accompanies SSI, which is obviously huge when it comes to the power chair.
My son is 5 years old and has been on SSI for about 8 months now. It took a year to get him on it. They did turn him down the first time. So I appealed and then they wanted him to see their doctors to see for themselves. A lady had concacted me to find out some information about things he could do and couldn't do and about a week later I received to letters of times and dates of doctor they wanted to me bring him to. So I did and about a month later I recieved a letter that he would be recieving SSI.
Yes, they will deny you if your income is over. I have a son once i was married i lose every rescourse there is. O, exept for begging for grants yearly throu the supports cooridantors.

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