Supplemental Security Income

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.

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Children with disabilities may qualify for SSI

Children younger than age 18 who have disabilities might be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

SSI makes monthly payments to people with low income and limited resources who are 65 or older, or blind or disabled. A child that is younger than age 18 can qualify if he or she meets Social Security’s definition of disability for children, and if his or her income and resources fall within the eligibility limits. The amount of the SSI payment is different from one state to another because some states add to the SSI payment.

The child’s income and resources and the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household is looked at to determine if the child is eligible for SSI payments. In addition, monthly SSI payments are limited to $30 when a child is in a medical facility where health insurance pays for care.

Children must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and eligible for SSI:

When applying for benefits for a child, SSI will ask for detailed information about the child’s medical condition and how it affects his or her ability to function on a daily basis. They will also ask for the parents or guardians to give permission for doctors, teachers, therapists and other professionals who have information about the child’s condition to supply information.

It can take three to five months for the state agency to decide if your child is disabled. However, for some medical conditions, SSI payments are made right away and for up to six months while the state agency decides if the child is disabled.

Following are some conditions that may qualify:

Disability reviews will be performed even if a child’s condition is not expected to improve from time to time and evidence that the child receives treatment is necessary to maintain SSI benefits.

When a child turns age 18, SSI uses different medical and nonmedical rules when deciding if an adult can get SSI disability payments and if already receiving SSI payments, they will review the medical during a review within one year of the child’s 18th birthday. SSI will then use adult disability rules to decide whether the 18-year-old is disabled and qualifies for SSI benefits.