SSI Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a federal (US) program administered by the Social Security Administration, and is an entitlement based on family income. Recipients must be blind or disabled and have a low family income and few assets. Children with cancer qualify as disabled for this program, making some of them eligible for monthly aid if the family income and assets are low enough. To find out if your child qualifies, look in the phone book under "United States Government" for "Social Security Administration." Call the nearest field office to determine if your child is eligible for SSI.

Additionally, there is a professional organization of attorneys and paralegals called the National Organization for Social Security Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR). NOSSCR can refer you to a member in your geographic location. The phone number for NOSSCR is (800) 431-2804. NOSSCR has a web page at: http://www.NOSSCR.org.

Our Katie was approved for SSI right away also. It did take a large amount of preparation with the required paperwork. I researched and when I found roadblocks, I asked the social security people what I needed to overcome these obstacles. In our case we had too much money in the bank, so we "spent down" by prepaying bills. I made sure I had all our birth certificates, that Katie's medical records were complete etc. Since I found this so cumbersome, you can't imagine how happy I was when our income and Katie's health excluded us from SSI and we became self-sufficient again. That said, I sure was glad it was there when needed.

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