The Social Security Administration, or SSA, offers some
benefits for children with disabilities.
SSI, or Social Security Income, is typically paid to adults who are 65
and older and who meet low income and limited resources requirements; however,
some children will also meet requirements for SSI payments.
Children with disabilities must fall into the definition of disability
for children and income and resources must fall within eligibility limits. If the income living in the child’s
household is more than the amount allowed, SSI will be denied. Additionally, payment is limited to $30
per month if the child is in a medical facility and his insurance covers the
The rules for SSI disability are:
- Child does not earn more than $1,010 in a month
(as of 2012). If a child is
working and earns that much or more, SSI will be denied.
- Child must have a condition that severely limits
a child’s activities. The child
must have mental or physical conditions or combination of these conditions.
- Child’s condition must be disabling for 12
months or more
Information for SSI is collected through a questionnaire in
which you detail your child’s condition and his ability to function on a daily
basis. Additional information
might be requested from doctors, therapists, teachers, and other professionals. Doctors and trained staff review the
information, which can take up to three to five months.
Some conditions, including HIV, blindness, deafness, cerebral
palsy, Down syndrome, Muscular dystrophy, and severe intellectual disorder
might qualify for immediate SSI payments while your application is being
reviewed. Even if your SSI is
denied, you will not have to pay back the money you received.
Disability reviews occur every three years for children
under age 18. When children with
disabilities turn 18, some new rules apply for SSI benefits. For example, only the adult’s income is
taken into account, not the entire family’s income and resources.
Additionally, adult children with disabilities might be able
to get SSDI, or Social Security Disability Income, if they became disabled
before age 22. It is considered a “child’s”
benefit because the money is paid on a parent’s Social Security record.
Visit your local Social Security office for help applying
for SSI. You will need records to
show income and resources, and you will need to describe how your children with
disabilities is able to function on a daily basis. Call Social Security toll free at 1-800-772-1213.