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SSI Disability Benefits For Children

How To Apply For Children SSI Benefits

Minors or children that suffer from a condition or illness that greatly limits their daily activities can possible qualify for SSI benefits. Determining the decision of a child’s disability can be slightly more difficult and challenging depending on the illness, however there are currently over one million children receiving SSI benefits.

Who does the SSA consider a “child” for SSI benefits?

The SSA considers an individual a “child” or minor if he or she:

• Is under the age of 18
• Is under the age of 22 but is a regular student at an educational institution.
• Is not married
• Is not the head of a household

What are the specifications to qualify my child for SSI?

Some of the basic requirements for children to receive SSI include:

• Child must suffer from a condition or illness that severely limits their activities.
• The condition must be expected to last for a minimum of 12 months or result in a death.
• Income and assets of minor and guardians can’t exceed the SSA’s restrictions.
• From birth, children are eligible for SSI benefits. There is no minimum age require for an SSI approval.

Income and asset limits

Since most children and minors are dependent on their parents or guardians for income, the SSA takes into consideration the income and assets of the parents or guardians when determining if the child is eligible for SSI benefits. However, if the minor or child is working, their income and assets will be considered as well. As long as the child’s and guardian’s income and assets are below the SSA’s restrictions, the child will still qualify.

Disability Listings

The SSA developed a disability guide called the “Blue Book” that lists different disabling conditions and their specifications needed to qualify for disability benefits. There are two parts to the book, Part A and Part B. Part A is used to evaluate Adults while Part B is used to evaluate children. There are two different sections because some illnesses affect child much differently then adults and need to be evaluated under different conditions.


The SSA requires children who are about to turn 18 years old and are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to be re-evaluated as an adult, this is known as Age 18 Redetermination. This is because the restrictions for eligibility differ between an adult and a child. In many cases, the 18-year olds will receive a larger monthly check due to their low income. Check out our page, Age 18 Redetermination for more information.