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,

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).

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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