How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How to apply for Social Security Disability SSI benefits for children

Initiating the application process for disability benefits for children (note: minor-age children actually file under title 16, which is the SSI, or supplemental security income, program) is identical to the process used to begin to claims for adults.

Claims are begun in local social security offices where adult claimants, or parents of child claimants, supply all the information that is necessary to process the claim. After the disability application has been taken, it is transferred to a separate agency where it is assigned to a disability examiner. This individual will usually begin the process by requesting the claimants medical records.

In the case of minor-age children, the records requests may involve medical records only, particularly if the child's alleged impairments are only physical in nature. However, in cases where emotional, cognitive, or learning difficulties are alleged, the disability examiner will typically attempt to gather additional records from the child's school.

Children's cases are evaluated differently from adult cases in one basic sense: for adults to qualify for disability benefits, it must be proven that the claimant possesses a severe impairment that renders them unable to engage in substantial gainful work activity, including work they have done in the past and work they might otherwise be considered capable to switching to, for at least one full year; children, on the other hand, may be considered if they have a severe impairment which prevents their ability to engage in age-appropriate activities.

Age appropriate activities for children

Age-appropriate activities for children, of course, will differ substantially from the normal daily activities of adults. However, because attendance in school--and all the things that correlate with school attendance such as academic performance and social interactions--is such a prominent factor in the life of a child, the social security administration tends to focus heavily on records obtained from a child's school or schools.

Those records include the results of achievement testing, intelligence testing, grade reports, individual education plans. Important records can even include questionaires from a child's teachers since teachers are the chief evaluators and observers of school-age children.

Note: While teacher questionaires provide strong and relevant information regarding a child's abilities to engage in age-appropriate activities, the social security administration, through its disability examiners, does not typically send such questionaires to teachers when cases are processed.

This is similar to the position taken by SSA on residual functional capacity forms for adults which are used internally by SSA-employed physicians but which, oddly enough, are never sent to the actual doctors of a claimant.

Both child and adult claims obviously suffer due to such practices and one can argue that the social security administration does not send such forms to teachers and treating physicians because doing so would tip the scales in the favor of claimants, resulting in more benefits being paid out.

Attorneys send forms that SSA will not

Residual functional capacity forms for adults and teacher questionaires for child claimants are often sent out by disability attorneys and representatives, usually in cases in which the claimant has been denied at the disability application level, again denied at the reconsideration appeal level, and the claimant's case is now positioned for a hearing before a federal disability judge (administrative law judge).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

How long do disability benefits last?
Can you file for both SSI and SSD disability benefits?
A medical or non-medical denial for disability
How to apply for disability and where to apply
Filing an Application for Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI - Step by Step
Tips on how to file for disability
What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
What happens after I file my disability claim with Social Security?
What happens after a Social Security Disability or SSI Claim has been taken and is Pending
If you get denied on a disability application do you have to file a new application?
How the Decision on a Disability Application or Appeal Under SSDI or SSI is Made
SSI disability rule concerning living arrangements and shared household expenses

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.