A List of Disability Benefits Available for Children

Published on: April 29, 2015

Disability Benefits for ChildrenDisability benefits for children follow a nuanced and very specific set of guidelines that differ from adults. Not all disability benefits are created equal, and here’s why: children are only eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and not Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) because the credentials for each differ, as well as the amount disbursed. While exceptions exist to every rule, a safe bet for children is that both a medical and financial necessity need to exist to be considered for disability benefits.

The truth remains, however, that it is extremely difficult to get benefits for children. As a result, it is crucial that you seek the counsel of a disability representative to walk you through the process, as it can be daunting. While ability to work is the main determinant for adult disability benefits, functionality serves as the parallel for children. Sometimes, this can be more difficult to measure, which is why so many records and questionnaires must be filled out: to get the most comprehensive look at your child’s disability as possible.

Example Scenarios

Here is a list of some scenarios that would NOT warrant SSI disability benefits for children:

  • If a child has parents whose income exceed federally prescribed limits

  • If your child’s disability is expected to only last 6 months

  • A teacher fills out a questionnaire and deems your child is at an age-appropriate level with other children with the help of medication

With that being said, there are some instances where children’s disability benefits are awarded:

  • If your adult child was disabled before age 22, and you as the parent are currently receiving SSDI benefits (the child would receive Social Security benefits as opposed to SSI in this situation)

  • If your child has a condition in the children’s Blue Book and falls under the “severity” specifications

  • Once a physician and non-medical professional present evidence showing the child is not functioning at an age-appropriate level and their condition is proven to be severe, it can be decided by a DDS representative (with other determinants in play, as well)

Be Careful

As you can see, nothing is necessarily “cut-and-dry” here. Caveats exist everywhere within the SSA’s website and policies, so be wary when compiling your child’s information for the application. SSI benefit amounts do not vary on the federal level from state to state; however, some states choose to pay an additional amount (called a State Supplement).

Help with your Child's Application

Need more help, or have other questions about your child's application? Unlike other disability organizations, we here at Disability Experts of Florida never turn away children’s cases, which are oftentimes seen as too difficult or not worth pursuing. No case is too small for us, and we take time to learn about you and your child’s situation and offer our extensive knowledge so you can move forward with the application process confidently, and with us backing you.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact one of our trained and compassionate disability advocates who can walk you through this difficult application process of getting disability benefits available for children. We also have a free guide out entitled “How to get Disability Benefits for Children in Florida,” which may serve to answer some of your overarching questions and concerns.


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