Are Children Eligible for Social Security Benefits?
Parents who have children with special needs are blessed in many ways; however, parenting a child with special needs also involves a lot more money and need for medical care. For parents who meet the income and resource limits for Supplemental Security Income, their disabled child may be eligible for SSI benefits.
Children with disabilities must apply for SSI either in person or over the phone with their local Social Security office. Typically, when children have such severe medically verifiable mental or physical conditions, their parents help them with filing the application.
Once the application has been filed, it is sent to the state disability agency, where a disability examiner gathers the claimant’s medical records (and educational records, if applicable) from the providing sources given during their disability interview.
Since children have not worked, disability examiners use school records, along with third-party questionnaires filled out by parents and other third parties, to determine how well a child is functioning, and, if they have limitations, how severe those limitations are.
Similar to adults, all functional limitations experienced by children must not only be noted by third parties and/or parents, but also by treating physicians, hospitals, school counselors, mental health professionals, etc. If a child’s disabling condition(s) causes significant restrictions to their functional capacity, they may be found eligible for disability benefits.
If a child’s case for disability is denied, the appeal process is the same as the appeal process adult disability claims follow.