Do children qualify for Disability Benefits?

Under SSI, children are considered disabled if they have a physical or mental condition which is so severe that it results in marked and severe functional limitations.

Answer: YES!

Both children and Adults can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Although the requirements are different for children and adults, both groups must establish a disability. In other words, SSI pays benefits to individuals of any age provided they are both needy and disabled. Under SSI, children are considered disabled if they have a physical or mental condition which is so severe that it results in marked and severe functional limitations. Notice that this is not the definition of a disabled adult. As with an adult, the child’s condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least twelve (12) months, or be expected to result in the child’s death. The amount of SSI to which a child is entitled depends on how much his/her parent’s own and how much income the parent(s) receive.

It is important that whether it is a “Child’s” disability case or “Adult” disability case, the disability is well documented. For children, it is generally important that a school counselor or teacher documents the challenges facing the child. If the disability is physical or requires treatment from a psychiatrist, it is important to consult with the doctor frequently and be as informative as possible. We generally will contact your treating physicians to obtain a medical statement from them regarding your limitations and how your severe impairments affect you. Therefore, it is important that you are as detailed as possible with your treating medical providers.