Guest Bloggers, People Facing Barriers, SSI

SSI is Critical for Children with Developmental and Behavioral Disabilities

April 22, 2021 • By

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: April 22, 2021

Nathaniel BeersSocial Security has a disability program called Supplemental Security Income (SSI) that can provide monthly income support for lower-income families who care for children with developmental and behavioral disabilities, as well as physical impairments. Children with developmental disabilities like autism and intellectual disability, as well as other behavioral health impairments like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, may qualify for SSI.

Families of children with disabilities often have higher out-of-pocket costs and additional demands on their time. This can lead to more financial instability. Children with disabilities may be in diapers for a longer period, they may need behavioral incentives to learn new skills, or they may require specialized equipment not covered by insurance. Monthly SSI payments help reduce the struggles families experience and provide the financial support their children need.

SSI can enable a child’s access to health insurance. In most states, people receiving SSI are automatically eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid covers essential long-term services and support that is typically unavailable through private insurance. Services like personal and home care assistance help ensure children can continue to receive care. In addition to medical services, Medicaid can also cover eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs, lifts, and supportive housing services. The home modifications and equipment allow family members to care for children at home.

SSI plays a critical role for children with disabilities and their families by providing needed financial support and access to Medicaid. For more information, please read the SSI Eligibility for Children page and review the SSI Child Disability Starter Kit. Please share this information with your friends and family—and post it on social media.

SSA’s posting of this blog does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation of any non-SSA organization or author.

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  1. mshahid

    I’m impressed, I must say. Very rarely do I come across a blog thats both informative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you ve hit the nail on the head. Your blog is important.. Anthony Dietrich

  2. Tonia P.

    My son received SSI benefits as a child he was diagnosed at age 4 with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and age 6 he contracted viral meningitis, age 11 diagnosed with T1 Diabetes he also suffers from anxiety and panic attacks, from approximately age 5-10 years old he was deemed no longer eligible when my husband (now ex) had got a better paying job. This affected my son and his benefits. This needs to change this is for the child. I was told that my son or I could help him to reapply once he turned 18. I didn’t think he wouldn’t be approved…he soon will be 24 he can not work does not have a license he’s unable to drive. We had an attorney with no success, I’ve helped him file appeals, and re apply etc etc. Human Arc is now trying to help him. Why can he not get approved? I don’t understand this. Something somewhere is getting overlooked. When there are so many getting approved and my son is struggling. He just got denied again. The first judge he went in front of was in our state but the judge was on a tv screen in Michigan??? I just don’t get it …

  3. Jessica B.

    I appreciate this initiative, and I feel like this should have been done earlier. Anyway, I am still happy to hear about SSI. If this program is accepting donations, I will make sure to make a contribution once I receive my paycheck for the dissertation help uk-style I provided last week. I would love to make contribution for this cause.

  4. James

    Hi. Thanks for the good informational article. What if I’m on disability and my 17 years older daughter gets a beneficiary check because of being my dependent, but she is also gotten worse on her epilepsy bad enough to be rendered as disabled now on her own? Should I apply for disability for her with social security for her own disability under my benefits for herself? Or Should I apply for SSI benefits for her instead? Or both at the same time? She will stop getting a beneficiary check because of my disability as a dependent a month before she turns 18. What are our options? She started having epileptic seizures of both kinds at the age of 10 and she is now 17 and has both seizures almost every day. She’s been ordered to not drive a vehicle by her doctors. I can not see her working with out putting her life at risk or the life of others (like if she were to work at a restaurant or a place with stairs or even the fact that no one would want to hire her because of the liability and the unreliability of being a regular daily employee, fall and injured her head like has happened many times, etc). She can be walking or standing talking or seating and she would get a seizure and drop and fall and go unconscious for a few minutes while and after the seizure and takes her a long time to recover her speech and her to be back to close to normal. Should I apply now or wait once she turns 18 or a few months before or what? Thank you.
    Palm Organix

    • Patty

      Hi, James. Children who were receiving benefits as a minor child on a parent’s Social Security record may be eligible to continue receiving benefits on that parent’s record upon reaching age 18 if they are disabled. For more information about benefits for a disabled child, visit our Benefits Planner: Disability|How to Qualify. Please call your local Social Security office regarding your daughter’s specific situation and the application process. Look for the general inquiry telephone number under “Show Additional Office Information.” Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this helps.

  5. Angus K.

    A lot of young people are now thinking about how to start online therapy business, because many need support from specialists in their field.

  6. Qureshi

    Great post about child health use yoga daily.
    Your body needs plenty of oxygen when you are working out, so try taking deep breaths that cause your tummy to increase when you inhale whenever. And also this helps you to increase your lung capacity immensely.

  7. sepehr

    Hi, my son and I just relocated from California. He has Autism and has a balance of SSI. How do we start to repay and see if he now qualifies for SSI?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sepehr. For your security, 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, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  8. farhan w.

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  9. Rutuja P.

    What is the benefits of SSI Child Disability?


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