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SSI for Children


SSI for Children

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What is SSI for children?

SSI for children is a cash assistance program for low-income families who are caring for children with physical and/or mental disabilities.

How does the Social Security Administration (SSA) decide if my child is disabled?

SSA will look at how severe your child’s medical conditions are and how they interfere with her everyday life.  To qualify for SSI, you child’s conditions must:

  1. result in a marked and severe limitation in your child’s functioning; and
  2. must have lasted (or be expected to last) for one year or result in death. 

What information will SSA use to make its decision?

SSA will look at your child’s medical records, school records, and any other records about her special needs.  Also, SSA might talk to your child’s teachers, therapists, and other people who know your child.  If SSA feels they need more information, they might ask your child to attend a medical exam.

Do all disabled children get SSI?

No – it is not enough to be disabled.  SSI is only for low-income families who meet SSA’s rules about income and resources.

If my child gets SSI as a child, will she get SSI as an adult? 

Even if your child gets SSI, she will not automatically get SSI as an adult.  This is because SSA uses different rules in deciding whether an adult is disabled. When your child turns 18, SSA will consider her to be an adult and will review her file.  They will determine whether she meets the rules for getting SSI benefits as an adult. 

How do I apply for SSI for my child?

Visit your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213.  Make sure you have your child’s Social Security number and birth certificate.  You should also make a list of your child’s doctors, teachers, social workers, and other caregivers.  SSA will ask for this information. 

What if SSA denies my child’s claim? 

You have the right to appeal and ask SSA to reconsider their decision.  There are deadlines for appealing, so it is important to act quickly.  

Click here to get help with SSI.