Are there disability benefits for children?
If your minor-age child has a disability, he or she may potentially receive disability benefits through the SSI disability (supplemental security income) program.
The first step in acquiring disability benefits for your child is to apply for disability with Social Security. This can be done online for title II Social Security Disability claims, but, in the case of SSI claims, this only equates to a "lead", not an actual application (in other words, no protective filing benefit). Therefore, for this reason, you may wish to contact your local social security office and arrange a time for a disability application interview (to be conducted in person or over the phone).
Once Social Security has established your child’s disability claim, they will forward the claim to the state disability agency for a medical decision (as I've stated many times, this agency is known in most states as DDS, or disability determination services, and it is there that disability claims are approved or denied, prior to the disability hearing level where the adjudicator is an administrative law judge).
The SSI disability process is the same for adults and children, although the medical criteria to establish disability is different. Of course, if your child is denied they have the same appeal rights as an adult (Meaning that if an application is denied, there will be a window of 60 days in which to file a request for reconsideration, and if a reconsideration is denied, there will be a window of 60 days in which to file a request for a disability hearing before an administrative law judge).
Keep in mind that a child’s entitlement, or eligibility for disability benefits, depends not only on a medical determination, but also on the income and resources of the parents. This is because SSI is a need-based program and, as such, non-medical criteria will be used to award benefits in addition to medical criteria. In other words, even if a child has medical or mental impairments that qualify for a medical allowance (an approval) the claim may be denied due to the income and resources (assets) of a parent or parents.
Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog
List and News roundup
Social Security Disability Benefits and Fibromyalgia Claims
Win Loss stats at various levels
Social Security Disability in Mississippi
One possible future, one of many
Social Security Disability and the Two year wait for medicare
News roundup and list Nine
Why do disability lawyers sometimes not take cases?
SSDI and working -- or not working
How long should you wait before you file for disability?
Will bankruptcy affect your ability to get social security disability?
What medical background do social security disability examiners have?
The 10th List
Steps to Win Social Security Disability
Heavens to Murgatroid! Writing requires effort?
Flippers, nuclear power, and the GOP
To Qualify for SSD, you must be out of work for at least a year
News and Statistics
One of the worst mistakes you can make on Social Security Disability
Dell and XP
On Being Sick
Social Security Disability SSI Programs Need More Judges
14 and Counting
The VA Disability Claim Backlog and the right to hire a lawyer
Can you be denied for disability even if your doctor says you are disabled?
Reconsideration Appeal - what makes it different from the Disability Application
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied?
Disabled Vets should get the care they require
Filing for Social Security Disability Hearings in Chicago
Using a Social Security Disability Advocate to Help with Medical Records
Applying for disability
How to get disability
Social Security Back pay