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SSI for Children

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Social Security Benefits for Children

SSI, which stands for Supplemental Security Income, is a program in the United States that offers money to qualifying low-income individuals.

In addition to offering money to those over the age of 65, social security benefits are also available for:

  • Disabled or blind individuals
  • The spouse or children of a deceased worker (survivor benefits)
  • The spouse or children of a person receiving SSI benefits

How Can Children Get Social Security and SSI Disability Benefits?

Minors may collect disability social security benefits if they fit in at least one of the following categories:

  1. Disabled minors from low-income families
  2. Even if not disabled, minors collecting dependents’ benefits
  3. Adults who became disabled before reaching the age of 22

These three categories are discussed in more detail below.

Disabled Children SSI Benefits

Until the age of 18, children who reside in low-income families may receive supplemental security income (SSI). When such minors reach the age of 18, they may continue to receive SSI as adults. It is important to remember that:

  • SSI determination is based both on disability and financial need.
  • Before the age of 18, part of a child’s family income may be attribute to him.
  • After 18, the child must qualify as a disabled adult to continue getting benefits.

Dependents Benefits

Disabled as well as non-disabled children may receive social security benefits based on their parents’ social security record. In other words, if a parent (or stepparent) received or had qualified for social security disability or retirement benefits, the child (and sometimes grandchild) may collect these benefits.

The child may receive as much as half his parent’s monthly benefit. Usually the child can only receive these benefits before turning 18. However, a full-time student in secondary school may receive benefits until the age of 19. Benefits will cease when a child marries.

These payments may benefit both disabled and non-disabled children.

Adult Child Benefits: How to Continue Getting Disability Benefits?

The benefits discussed above may continue if a child remains disabled after reaching the age of 18. The same is true if one becomes disabled before turning 22.

In general, a disabled adult child may collect disability benefits on his or her parents’ social security if the child lives with the parents.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you believe that your child’s disability benefits were unfairly denied or if you need help preparing for a disability review, you should consult with a lawyer experienced handling social security issues.

Photo of page author Pavel Leshchinskiy

, LegalMatch Legal Content Developer

Last Modified: 08-24-2016 10:13 PM PDT

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