Disability makes one feel equally miserable about oneself irrespective of his social stature, earnings, and age. But as time passes by one gets accustomed to things, adjusts to the surroundings, and starts living. Enjoying more and more, and complaining less and less one goes about the curious business of living. That’s, loosely speaking, the ‘philosophical’ part of the story though I don’t claim to be a philosopher of any sort whatsoever.
Now the harder part. The philosophical distinction between childhood disability and adult disability is also reflected in the disability benefits one is entitled to, albeit in a slightly different fashion. To put it straight, the law makes a distinction between the disabled below and above 18 years of age.
Supplemental Security Income or SSI is a social benefit program instituted by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA pays a monthly sum to those whose income is lower on account of old age, blindness, or disability. Most of those under 18 years of age are considered children and the ones above as adults by the SSA. To be eligible for the SSI the rules are much the same for children and adults, but ‘disability’ in case of children is by definition more accommodating than the one employed for the adults.
The amount one gets as SSI is meant to meet one’s very basic needs because it is assumed that a disabled person may not be able to earn enough. The need for one person living in a certain condition may be different from another in another set of circumstances. Therefore, the amount payable also differs. For instance, it is estimated that the disabled children living with their parents in the State of California need a sum of $722 per month. For those who are blind, the amount is higher at $901, as their expenses are higher.
If in the opinion of the authorities, you have money to spend on your basic needs in view of your sources of income, the amount is deducted from the payable sum and what remains is what you get for the SSI.