Mother helping disabled son file for SSI benefits.

Can Children Qualify for SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federally administered income supplement program. The funds from SSI are generated by general tax revenues, as opposed to Social Security taxes. The SSI program was put into place as a way to provide financial assistance to the aged, blind, and disabled who have lower income levels or no income at all. SSI distributes cash payments for qualifying individuals to cover basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter. There are, however, very specific requirements that must be met in order for a person to qualify for SSI.

Can Children Qualify for SSI?

Yes, SSI is available to children who meet both the disability requirement and the limited income requirement imposed by the Social Security Administration (SSA). In order to be eligible for SSI benefits, a child must either be disabled or blind. If the child is below the age of 18, a disability means that the child has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that results in severe functional limitations. These impairments must have lasted or are predicted to last for at least 12 consecutive months or are expected to be fatal. If the child is blind, this means that he or she falls under the same definition of “blind” that is used for adults. There is no duration requirement for SSI benefits available to children deemed to be blind.

For SSI benefits, there is always an income requirement. This is true for both adult and child applicants. To qualify for SSI benefits, you must fall below an established income level. This is because the program is intended to support those individuals with limited or no income and financial resources. If the child is under the age of 18, is unmarried, and resides with his or her parents who do not receive SSI benefits, then the SSA may include part of the parents’ income as though they were available to the child for the income calculation purposes. Furthermore, the SSA may also include a portion of a stepparent’s income if the child lives with a parent and a stepparent. This process of allocating income to the child is referred to as “deeming.” The SSA will also make deductions for the deemed income. The deductions will be subtracted and the SSA will use the remaining amount to see if the child fulfills the income requirements of the SSI program.

After the child turns 18 years of age, he or she will need to qualify for SSI as an adult. The adult definition of disability can vary from that applied to child applicants. The income of the individual;s family will no longer be counted when calculating the income and resources available to the applicant. If the applicant does receive food and shelter from parents, however, the SSA may still lower the monthly disability payment as a result.

Social Security Disability Attorney

The disability programs administered by the SSA, such as SSI and SSDI, provide critical financial benefits to those individuals in need across the U.S. Accessing benefits can often be difficult and confusing. That is why the Disability Advocates Group is dedicated to serving our clients by providing dependable legal guidance regarding SSI and SSDI. We will answer your questions and help you get those SSA benefits you need. Contact us today.

Posted in SSI