When you hear about disability benefits, you probably think about adults. But disability benefits are not just for grownups. In some cases, children can receive benefits too.
If your child who lives with you has a disability, and you also have limited income and resources, your child may be able to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. SSI is another program run by Social Security. SSI is a needs-based program funded through general tax revenues.
To qualify for SSI, your child must meet the following requirements:
• Under age 18
• Not be working and earning more than $1,000 a month in 2010. (This earnings amount changes every year.) If he or she is working and earning that much money, we will determine that your child is not disabled.
• Have a physical or mental condition (or a combination of conditions) those results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must very seriously limit your child’s activities.
• Have a condition that has lasted, or is expected to last, at least 12 months, or is expected to result in death.
Once your child reaches age 18, SSI disability benefits might still be payable as an adult. Also, an adult who was disabled before reaching age 22 might be eligible for Social Security benefits as a “disabled adult child.” For a disabled adult to become entitled to this “child” benefit, one of his or her parents:
• Must be receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits; or
• Must be deceased and have worked long enough to be covered under Social Security.
Are you ready to get started with an application for your child? The best way to begin is by checking out the Disability Starter Kit at www. socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability.
You can apply for Social Security or SSI payments for your child by calling Social Security toll-free at 1-800- 772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325- 0778) or by visiting your local Social Security office. If you are applying for SSI payments for your child, you should have his or her Social Security number and birth certificate with you when you apply. We also will ask you for your Social Security number.
Learn more by reading Social Security’s online publication, Benefits For Children With Disabilities, at www.socialsecurity. gov/pubs/10026. html.