SSI is Critical for Children with Developmental and Behavioral Disabilities
Last Updated: April 22, 2021
Social 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.