Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Claim Mistakes
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
SSI Disability Benefits
Child Disability Benefits
Working and Disability
Disability Awards, Notices
Hiring Disability Lawyers
List of Disability Conditions
What SSA finds disabling
SSD SSI Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability
Eligibility for Disability
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by
Questions and Answers
SSDRC Disability Blog
How are children eligible to receive disability benefits?
The title II Social Security disability program does not offer disability benefits for children per se. The reason for this is that Social Security disability is an adult disability program based upon an insured status that is earned through work activity.
However, While the title II Social Security program does not offer disability benefits for children, children may be able to receive disability benefits through the second disability program that is administered by the Social Security Administration.
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI disability, offers disability benefits to children. SSI is a needs based disability program meant to assist those who have not worked, such as children, and workers who have worked in the past but not recently.
Non Medical Criteria for SSI
The SSI disability program has income and resource limits that must be met in order for a child or adult to receive disability benefits through the program.
In the case of children, their parents income and resources will be counted against those limits until they are age eighteen. Children are eligible to receive SSI disability benefits if they are found medically disabled and their parents’ income and resources meet the SSI limits.
What is the disability process for SSI children’s disability benefits?
Children who apply for disability through the SSI program go through a disability process similar to an adult. They (their parent or guardian) must file an application for disability on the basis of a severe medically verifiable mental or physical condition.
Applications are sent to a state disability agency (DDS) where a disability examiner gathers the claimant's records from the medical and educational sources provided during their disability interview.
Since children have not worked, disability examiners review school records along with parental and third party functional questionnaires to determine how well a child is functioning and the severity of their limitations.
Of course, all functional limitations must be supported by objective medical information gathered from treating physicians, hospitals, school counselors, mental health professionals, speech pathologists, etc. If a child’s disabling condition or conditions cause significant restrictions to their functional capacity they may be eligible for disability benefits.
When a disability application for a child is denied
If a child’s SSI disability claim is denied, they have the same disability appeal process that adult disability cases have. They can file a reconsideration appeal if their initial disability claim is denied, and a disability hearing request if their reconsideration appeal is denied.
If a child is denied at the disability hearing their claim can be sent to the Appeals Council for a review of the administrative law judge disability decision. After the Appeals Council review, there is only federal district court.
Very few cases go to federal court because it is so expensive and the time it takes for a decision. It is simpler to once again file an SSI disability claim if the administrative law judge hearing is denied.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Why are Disability Cases Involving Children More Likely to be Denied?
Social Security Disability SSI and ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children
Will my children get benefits if I get approved for disability?
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Children Benefits
Can I get disability for Rheumatoid arthritis?
Social Security Disability listings and medical exams
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
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?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it