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

Eligibility for Social Security Child Disability Benefits

There are two ways for children to receive benefits from disability-related Social Security programs: the Supplemental Security Income program, also known as SSI, and the Social Security Disability program. Note: reqardless of whether a claim is for an adult or a child, eligibility requirements will not change between the two programs, SSD and SSI.

Receiving by being a dependent of a disabled adult beneficiary

How can a child receive benefits through the Social Security Disability program? Children may be entitled as an auxiliary (dependent) on a disability beneficiary’s record. In this situation, the child does is not disabled; the child is simply a dependent of a disabled worker.

The amount of money, if any, that is available for dependents of a Social Security Disability beneficiary is directly related to the disabled individual's work activity during their years prior to becoming disabled. Consequently, some Social Security Disability beneficiaries have no money payable for dependents, because their work activity was low, while other Social Security Disability beneficiaries have significant money available for their dependents.

Receiving on the basis of being a disabled minor-age child

Contrary to Social Security Disability, SSI actually offers a disability benefit to children who are considered to have a disabling condition. Supplemental Security Income disability is a need-based program aimed at assisting A) individuals who have not worked, B) individuals who have not been able to work enough to be insured for Social Security Disability, or C) individuals who may have worked enough to be entitled to a small Social Security benefit that does not exceed the current disability benefit payable under the SSI disability program.

Children’s parents must meet the income and resource requirements of the Supplemental Security Income program for a minor child to be entitled to benefits even if they are found to be medically disabled. In other words, even if a child is considered to be disabled according to the medical records, they may not receive benefits if their household exceeds the income and asset/resource limits for the SSI program.

However, once a child turns eighteen, their parent's income will not be counted against them for entitlement to Supplemental Security Income benefits. At this point, the SSI beneficiary would have the same eligibility requirements as an adult. Therefore an eighteen year old person's living arrangement would be considered in determining what monetary amount is actually payable as a monthly disability benefit (through SSI).

Essential Questions

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Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

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Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

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New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

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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?

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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.