Social Security Benefits for Children with Disabilities

SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program helps children with qualifying disabilities and their families. For this program, a child must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and medically eligible:


  • The child must have a medical condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must very seriously limit the child’s activities.
  • The child’s condition(s) must have been disabling, or be expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or the condition(s) must be expected to result in death.

Compassionate Allowances are a way we quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. Thousands of children receive benefits because they have one of the conditions on the list.

A child must also meet other eligibility requirements. Since we only pay SSI to disabled people with low income and limited resources, a child, who is not blind, must not be working or earning more than $1,260 a month in 2020. A child who is blind must not be working or earning more than $2,110. This earnings amount usually changes every year. In addition, if the parents of the child or children have more resources than are allowed, then the child or children will not qualify for SSI. You can read more about children’s benefits by reading Benefits for Children with Disabilities.

Visit parents and guardians page to learn more about all we do to care for children.  Please share these resources if you know a family or friend who needs our help.

 

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76 thoughts on “Social Security Benefits for Children with Disabilities

    • Hi Wesley, thanks for using our blog. When a parent gets Social Security retirement benefits or disability benefits, his or her child also may get benefits. Children also can get benefits when a parent dies. The child can be a biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild also may qualify.

      To get benefits, a child must be unmarried and:
      • Younger than age 18;
      • A full-time student (no higher than grade 12) 18 to 19 years old; or
      • Have a disability that started before age 22 and is 18 years or older.

      See our factsheet on Benefits for Children for more information. We hope this helps!

  1. Who do I talk to in regards to someone getting social security benefits and other benefits for her own child for six years whom she never had in her care.

    • For your security, Enrique, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Same one called me a I give them my name and my social security because they said they was us my name social and I get social security benefits please help me thank you.

  3. Say I collect for my 12 son and my dauter died at the age of 17 she was awarded to the state am I eligible to collect from her

  4. What Does It Mean If The Social Security Office Wants To Talk To You, To See If An Individual Is Still Elgible For Benefits??

  5. My name is Tanya M. Valentin.
    My daughter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 7month old and I had to quit my job to be with my daughter 24/7 since November 29th 2019, I do not qualify to rent because i have no income. Do i qualify for SSI?
    I now live in Kentucky. My Ph #: 1-787-367-9971.

    • Hi Tanya, thanks for using our blog. SSI makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind, or disabled. Your child, if younger than age 18, can qualify if they have a medical condition or combination of conditions that meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if the child’s income and resources fall within the eligibility limits. Check out the publication Benefits for Children with Disabilities for more details.

      If you would like to apply for your child, you can call us call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  6. I’m Mason Wilmer mom and I need a benefit Mason Wilmer SSI. His dad’s death benefits letter, Mark Wilmer and I Mason Wilmer mom how much I get

    • Hi Mamie, thanks for using our blog. Check out our Frequently Asked Questions web page for details on how to get a benefit verification letter for yourself and for your son, if you’re his representative payee. This letter is sometimes called a budget letter, a benefits letter, a proof of income letter or a proof of award letter.

      If you are unable or do not want to do it online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  7. Hi my name is Stephanie, I would really appreciate an answer to my question about disability. Is prader willie considered a disability? And also can you collect SSDI and SSI at the same time?

    • Thanks for your question, Stephanie. Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months. We use the same five-step process to make a decision on each application. You may find our listing of impairments useful.

      It is possible to receive both Social Security disability and SSI. To get SSI, you must be disabled, blind, or at least 65 years old and have “limited” income and resources. Check out our Understanding SSI web page for details.

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