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SSI payments for children and SSDI benefits for disabled adults

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments for children

SSI payments are made on the basis of financial need. Those who are 65 years or older, blind or disabled, including children under the age of 18, and meet certain income requirements are eligible for SSI payments. The income and resources of the child as well as the child's family members are considered for purposes of determining income eligibility.

According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a child must not be working and earning more than $1,090 a month in 2015. Further, to qualify as "disabled" for SSI purposes, a child under the age of 18 must also have:

  • "[A] physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in 'marked and severe function limitations.'" and
  • Condition(s) that have been "disabling, or be expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or the condition(s) must be expected to result in death."

As part of the SSI application process, parents will be asked to provide detailed information about their child's disability. The child's treating physicians, therapist, teachers and others with particular knowledge of the child's ability will also be questioned and asked to provide information.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for disabled adults

SSDI benefits are paid to adults who have a disability that began before they turned 22 years old. SSDI benefits are also called "child's" benefits because payments are based on a parent's Social Security earnings statement, and a child doesn't need to have worked to be eligible for SSDI benefits.

According to the SSA, to qualify as a disabled adult for purposes of SSDI benefits, at least one of the child's parents must be:

  • A recipient of Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
  • Deceased and worked long enough to qualify for Social Security.

If a child is disabled at age 18 and had been receiving dependents benefits prior to turning 18, SSDI benefits are also payable. A disabled adult child will continue to receive benefits as long as he or she remains disabled.

Speak to and SSI/SSDI lawyer

The application process for SSI payments and SSDI benefits can be challenging, and children frequently experience a more difficult time getting SSI benefits. To make the process easier and to be a strong advocate for your child, contact The Disability Rights Law Center today to schedule a consultation was an experienced SSI/SSDI attorney.

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