How to Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for Your Child

boy-477013_1280Are you the parent of a child with special needs who is struggling to make ends meet while the medical bills keep piling up?

If so, you may want to explore the program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The SSI program is a federal program set up to provide benefits to children with disabilities. Your child must meet the medical requirements and the financial requirements as set forth by the government.

The medical requirements:

  • Your child must have severely limited functional abilities. As defined by SSI, the limitations must interfere with your child’s ability to function at the same level of children in his or her age group.
  • Your child must have been disabled for at least 12 months or has a disability that’s expected to last that long.

The financial requirements:

  • Your household must have limited resources and income. Every household is different, but generally, if your family receives food stamps, state assistance, welfare or Medicaid, your child will qualify for the financial requirement.
  • If you are NOT receiving government benefits and are working, there’s a table for household income. If you are a single parent and earn less than $36,000, the financial requirement will usually be met.
  • If you are in a two-parent household and make less than $44,000 combined, the financial requirement will generally be met.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a Listing of Medical Impairments for children. Medical conditions can affect children differently than adults since some conditions, such as growth impairments and developmental disorders, are usually only found in children.

To prove your child is disabled, medical evidence is required. Additionally, the SSA will review your child’s school records and reports to determine your child’s level of functioning.

If you are the parent of a child with disabilities and you need help with SSI or have questions, you should contact a disability lawyer for help.


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Ed Ober

About the author

Ed Ober wrote one article for Enabled Kids.

Ed Ober is the managing partner for Ober & Pekas, a disability law firm in Phoenix. He has been in private practice since 1985 and represents people for Social Security Disability benefits and SSI benefits. He has been a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR) since 1986.

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