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Categorized | Featured, Voices and Views

Social Security benefits for children with disabilities

By Vonda Van Til, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist 

SSA’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program helps children with qualifying disabilities and their families.  For this program, a child must meet all of the following requirements to be considered disabled and medically eligible: 

The child must have a medical condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.”  

This means that the condition(s) must very seriously limit the child’s activities. 

The child’s condition(s) must 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.  

Compassionate Allowances are a way we quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. Thousands of children receive benefits because they have one of the conditions on the list at www.ssa.gov/compassionateallowances/conditions.htm.

A child must also meet other eligibility requirements. Since we only pay SSI to disabled people with low income and limited resources, a child, who is not blind, must not be working or earning more than $1,260 a month in 2020. A child who is blind must not be working or earning more than $2,110. The earnings amount usually changes every year. In addition, if the parents of the child or children have more resources than are allowed, then the child or children will not qualify for SSI. You can read more about children’s benefits at www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10026.pdf.

Visit www.ssa.gov/people/parents/ to learn more about all we do to care for children.  Please share these resources if you know a family or friend who needs our help.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov.  

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