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.



76 thoughts on “Social Security Benefits for Children with Disabilities

  1. My husband & I have an open investigation with CPS on his 2 younger children and we didn’t know that the mother was obtaining a Social Security check for his 10 year old son. Can he request the records as to what disability he has as mother has not shared this information. We currently have the 2 children in our care until the CPS investigation is complete. Please advise.

    • Thanks for the question, Amy. If the children are living with you, you may want to consider being their representative payee. 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. Also, whoever is interested in applying to be their representative payee may want to read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees to understand a representative payees responsibilities. We hope this helps!

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