Supplemental Security Income for Children with Disabilities
Last Updated: April 29, 2021
During our careers, we’ve helped many people receive Social Security. We know the positive effects of receiving these crucial benefit payments. We’ve seen how Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments can help keep children and teenagers with disabilities out of poverty. Many eligible children under age 18 continue to benefit from SSI’s monthly payment, which can be up to $794 in 2021.
SSI helps low income families care for their children with mental or physical disabilities. We know it can be difficult to meet a child’s disability-related needs. SSI can help meet these and other needs to ensure the best outcome for the child. These needs might include:
- Adaptive clothing or eating utensils.
- Learning materials.
- Home accessibility modifications.
- Food supplements.
- Power for the child’s medical equipment.
- Specially trained child care.
Many parents and caretakers of children with disabilities lose work hours and income because of their children’s care needs. In addition to helping a child with disability-related needs, SSI can lessen the income gap so the child and family are able to thrive. SSI can cover the child’s share of household expenses for basic needs like food, rent or mortgage, and utilities. These benefits also can pay for clothing, school supplies, and other necessities.
In most states, children who are eligible for SSI will also be eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid pays for basic health care and prescription drugs at little or no cost. It’s also used for other services that are “medically necessary” to meet the child’s disability-related needs.
It takes some work to apply for SSI and provide the needed documents. The rules about showing disability and income eligibility are complicated. However, we want families to know they can appeal a decision if they are turned down. They may even get help with the appeal—and maybe at no cost.
Families can still apply for SSI even while Social Security offices are unable to welcome walk-in visitors. You can get started at the SSI for Children page. There, you’ll learn about applying for SSI, and you’ll have access to the Child Disability Starter Kit and Child Disability Report form.
We’ve seen SSI help many families raising children with disabilities. SSI was there for them and their families’ security—and it’s there for your family, too.
Please share this information with your family and friends, and help us spread the word about SSI for children!