Friday, August 29, 2014

Eligibility Part 2: SSI, An Alternative Road to Adoption Assistance Title IV-E Adoption Assistance in Ohio

Note: Monday, August 18, 2014. Part 3:  Substantial Risk as a Special Needs Requirement.
Note: Click on links below to gain access to website containing the original document

If for some reason, your child really does not meet the ADC-relatedness or judicial determination requirements, there is a Plan B to federal Title IV-E adoption assistance eligibility.  A child is eligible for federal adoption assistance if:

a. He or she meets the disability requirements for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, prior to the final decree of adoption; and

b. He or she is determined to be a special needs child.

As the Section 8.2B of the federal Child Welfare Policy Manual says, echoing the federal law,

A child is eligible for adoption assistance if the child meets the requirements for title XVI SSI benefits and is determined by the State to be a child with special needs prior to the finalization of the adoption.

There are no additional criteria that a child must meet to be eligible for title IV-E adoption assistance when eligibility is based on a special needs child meeting SSI requirements. Specifically, how a child is removed from his or her home or whether the State has responsibility for the child's placement and care is irrelevant in this situation.

Children who are exempt from the ADC-Relatedness requirement are known as "applicable."  children.  In the case of an "applicable" child,

For the purposes of determining whether an applicable child is eligible for AA through the SSI criteria, the Title IV-E agency may make the determination that the child meets the medical or disability requirements for SSI benefits.  (See federal Child Welfare Policy Manual Section 8.2B.12 , Question 3  and OAC rule 5101:2-49-02).

 The PCSA can determine if the child meets the medical/disability requirements for SSI. (see Disability Evaluation under Social Security.  For non "applicable" children an application for SSI must be submitted to the local Social Security office before finalization.   For a list and discussion of childhood impairments and disabilities go to the Social Security website at:

 Presumptive Eligibility

Children with certain disabilities are considered "presumptively" eligible for SSI.  Social Security regulations at 20 CFR 416.934 say:

We may make findings of presumptive disability and presumptive blindness in specific impairment categories without obtaining any medical evidence. These specific impairment categories are—

(a) Amputation of a leg at the hip;

(b) Allegation of total deafness;

(c) Allegation of total blindness;

(d) Allegation of bed confinement or immobility without a wheelchair, walker, or crutches, due to a longstanding condition, excluding recent accident and recent surgery;

(e) Allegation of a stroke (cerebral vascular accident) more than 3 months in the past and continued marked difficulty in walking or using a hand or arm;

(f) Allegation of cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or muscle atrophy and marked difficulty in walking (e.g., use of braces), speaking, or coordination of the hands or arms.

(g) Allegation of Down syndrome.

(h) Allegation of severe mental deficiency made by another individual filing on behalf of a claimant who is at least 7 years of age. For example, a mother filing for benefits for her child states that the child attends (or attended) a special school, or special classes in school, because of mental deficiency or is unable to attend any type of school (or if beyond school age, was unable to attend), and requires care and supervision of routine daily activities.

(i) Allegation of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease).