Children Can Also Receive SSI and Disability Benefits

Many types of Social Security benefits are available not just for the person directly involved (the retired person or the disabled worker), but also for dependents in that person’s family. Children, in particular, are often eligible for financial support if their parent becomes disabled or passes away or if the child becomes disabled. Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits, which we discussed yesterday, are also available for children. To qualify for SSI benefits, a child must be under 18 or, if he or she is attending school, the child must be under 22.

As with regular SSI benefits, the child must be blind or disabled. The definition of “disabled” is slightly different for children than it is for adult, though. The child’s condition must be expected to last longer than a year, and the disability must seriously limit the child’s activities. There are certain conditions that qualify a child to immediately start receiving SSI benefits. Some of these conditions include HIV infection, cerebral palsy, down syndrome and a birth weight below two pounds, ten ounces.

Children may qualify for SSI payments from the time of their births. Once the child reaches 18, the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) evaluates his or her disability the same way it does for adults, which generally requires that a person not be able to perform any work whatsoever.

Other Social Security benefits for which children may qualify on their own or through their guardians include retirement benefits, disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) program and survivors benefits for children who lose a parent. The SSA reports that, altogether, it provides 4.4 million children with over $2.4 billion in financial support each month when their parents retire, become disabled or pass away.

Do you have experience applying for Social Security benefits for children? What wisdom do you have to share with other children and their families?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability attorneys

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