Understanding Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Children

Published on: July 26, 2016

understanding_ssi_for_children.jpgIf you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have children, then your children would meet the income and resource requirements for SSI and could receive benefits if they were determined to be disabled.

On the other hand, how does the SSI disability program work for a child who is suffering from a qualified disabling medical condition?

The SSA’s Process for Children Applying for Supplemental Security Income

Completing an application for SSI benefits is the first step that adults need to do when applying for disability benefits with the Social Security Administration (SSA); applications for SSI benefits, unlike applications for Social Security disabiliity beneifts, cannot be completed online.

However, children applying for SSI benefits have an extra form to complete as well as certain application completion restrictions.

Child Disability Report

Children who are applying for SSI benefits must also have someone complete for them a Child Disability Report. 

The Social Security Administration provides you clear instructions that walk you through each step of the report and even offer some examples to help clarify each question or section for you to fill out.

When you finish completing this report, you will be asked to sign a consent form which permits your child’s doctor to provide the SSA with the appropriate documentation they require. This information can be inclusive of the following documents, including:

  • Medical records
  • Medical conditions
  • Education
  • Work history

SSI Application

Unlike adult applicants and the Child Disability Report, a child filing for SSI benefits must apply via phone or in person.

To apply in person, you will need to schedule an appointment; to apply by phone, you can call the following phone number provided 1-800-772-1213 and say that you would like to set-up a child application appointment.

Supplemental Security Income for Children 

The child's representative will be provided a starter kit which is essentially a questionnaire and a worksheet that helps determine which documents and information you will need to have prepared.  

Like adult SSI applicants, there are certain income and resource requirements  that the child must meet in order to be considered eligible for SSI benefits.

You can contact the Social Security Administration or a professional disability advocate to help determine whether your child meets those requirements and help guide you through the Child Disability Report.


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