Does Your Child Qualify for SSI Benefits?

We welcome this contribution from Deanna Power of Social Security Disability Help. Please note that we cannot answer any questions about specific situations. Please address all questions about eligibility or how to apply to

SSI offers financial relief to families living with serious pediatric illness.

SSI offers financial relief to families living with serious pediatric illness.

It is almost a law of nature that a child’s illness impacts a family’s income. Medical bills, time off from work, extra housekeeping or childcare needs add up quickly. SSI (Supplemental Security Income), a program administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides some relief for families through monthly financial assistance to parents of children with life-threatening or severe chronic illnesses.

Do you qualify?

For your child to qualify for disability benefits, he or she will need to not only be disabled, but your family will need to meet income level thresholds. If your household income is too high, your child will be ineligible for SSI benefits.

The process of determining if your child meets the financial qualification for SSI is referred to by the SSA as “deeming.”  The SSA will consider some of your income and resources when determining if your child meets the financial requirements to receive SSDI benefits, but not everything. If you have other children or a spouse, your income threshold will be higher.

What are the medical requirements for SSDI for Children?

The SSA’s definition of “disability” for children states that children must have a mental or physical condition that seriously limits their activities, has lasted or will last for at least 12 months, or is expected to significantly shorten the child’s lifespan so that s/he will not survive past childhood.  In order to determine if the mental or physical condition meets the requirements of a disability, the SSA uses a list of impairments commonly referred to as the Blue Book.

The “Blue Book” lists the medical criteria for evaluating a mental or physical impairment to determine if the severity is a disability for the child.  In addition to the Blue Book, the SSA maintains a Compassionate Allowance list with conditions that are considered so severe they almost always meet the medical requirements for a disability. Compassionate Allowances are also approved much quicker than typical applications, so your child could receive benefits much faster.

Evidence used to prove that your child meets the criteria in the Blue Book includes medical reports, medical tests, information from the child’s school, reports by caregivers or social workers, consultative examinations ordered by the SSA, and information provided by parents or other sources about the child’s daily activities, symptoms, and functional limitations.

 Examples of life-threatening childhood illnesses in the SSA’s Blue Book.

Many of the illnesses contained in the Blue Book can be considered life threatening.  Each condition has specific criteria that must be met in order to consider the condition a disability.

Childhood cancers: Cancer is addressed in Sections 113.00 (solid tumors) and 107.00 (hematological disorders).

Heart transplants: If your child has a serious heart condition and requires a heart transplant, the SSA will consider your child medically disabled for at least 12 months following the procedure. After 12 months, the SSA will reevaluate your child to determine if he or she is still medically eligible for benefits.

Low birth weight: If your child is born prematurely, he or she could receive benefits. The SSA has a chart depicting how much your child must way at his or her time of birth to qualify.

Additional categories include musculoskeletal system disorders; special senses and speech; and disorders involving the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, genitourinary, dermatology, endocrine, neurological, and immune system disorders. Information about congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems and mental disorders are also available.

 How do I apply for SSI for my child?

The SSA’s website provides detailed steps for how to apply for SSI for your child.  You can complete the Child Disability Report online; however, to complete an SSI application for your child, you must schedule an appointment with your local SSA office by calling 1-800-772-1213.


Editor’s Note: Social Security Disability Help( is an advertising service paid for by the lawyers and advocates whose names are provided in response to user requests (the free disability evaluation tool on the site).



110 thoughts on “Does Your Child Qualify for SSI Benefits?

        • Rachel, thanks for getting in touch. Without evaluating your son, we can’t comment on whether he will qualify for SSI. The first step is a complete evaluation of his speech and language challenges. Your best bet is to speak with your son’s pediatrician and ask him/her to refer you to someone who can evaluate him. Good luck.

    • Yes you can get SSI for his hearing loss because my son get it also for his hearing loss and he’s 8 years old and any other health problems your child have you can put that down as also

    • my 7-year-old boy was born at 28 weeks he has a speech delay he has a learning disability and he also has ADHD I started him on Adderall but quickly took him off due to his behavior, he just did not act himself, he is a very sweet boy and with him on that med was not my boy. I started doing all-natural things for him for school, someone told me he can get disability but i dont know where to go or what to do I live in Tampa FL if you can guide me in the right direction that would be great

  1. I just found out few weeks ago that my 10 year old daughter has a learning disability. Does she qualify for ssi?

  2. My son has asd level 1 and apraxia. Will he qualify and if I want to try to get food stamps, what is the amount for family of 4 if youthe married.

  3. My 16 year old son has stage 4 Medullary Thyroid Cancer do you know of any programs to help with his medical bills or if he can apply for ssi?

  4. My 10 ur old has learning disabilities plus along with combined type AD HD anxiety and mood disorder optional defiant disorder…

  5. My Daughter Angelina has ADHD and now she uses an epi pen for Sever Allergies also with in past year. I found out she has a Colapsed colin from being impactment.. and elevated liver function. She also has Asthma which requires everyday use of meds for all she her illnesses. She has ear infections on a regular with flare up every time her allergies are off.. Does this qualify her for SSI..

  6. My son is on a IEP at school for speach and ocupational thearpy and some special ed services. does hr qualify for ssi

  7. My 2 year old has acute asthma and a host of other problems. The doctors tell me she will never be out of diapers and that she will never speak, she will also never be able to walk because it is above her comprehension. Her brain works at the slowest speed her doctors have ever seen. If she has not seen someone in several days, she does not recognize them at all. . They are calling her disease Chromosome 17 deletion suyndrome. We just got the determination back from SSI and they say she does not qualify for any help. Is there any one out there that knows how to put in an application with the government that actuqally works? I saw the information these doctors sent in and they explain in depth why my daughter needs SSI. But they turned us down. What are we suppose to do for income. We are already dependent on food stamps and that amount is $331 a month. I do not know what to do now just to live. Can someone help me?

  8. My 11 year old daughter has been diagnosed with a speech and language disability. She has been having mini seizures since she was about 1 years old, and she had a grand one 3 days before her 10th birthday. I had her tested at the Kennedy Krieger Institute where their findings were, she currently is on a kindergarten grade level in everything they tested for. Does she qualify for assistance from SSI?

  9. Hi my daughter was just diagnosed with sackatreck problems and i am trying to find out if she would qualify for social secerity

  10. I have legal guardian ship of my daughters friend. Her father just passed away on Saturday. Since he signed away his legal rights to her…would she still be eligible to get social security benefits now that he is deceased?

  11. Hello my son is 8 years old and has diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum ..i have started him on theraphy..May i qualify for aid

  12. Hi is there assistance available to complete a ssi application or a child disability report? How do I know which documents I should have ready available for me to complete a application correctly.

  13. Our son has been diagnosed with a progressive terminal metabolic disorder a little over a year ago. He is currently involved in clinical trials and actively receives treatment for symptoms, but nothing is a “cure”. How do we apply for disability or social security or any other benefits he may qualify for?

  14. Hello,
    I’m writing to ask my daughter has had 3 concussionso with soccer and with this last one her vision has decreased and her migraines has increased has well. She had to be put on a daily med plus she takes her meds if a migraine comes on. She was in college but I had to medically withdraw her because her symptoms became worse like she was walking and would get vertigo or feel like she was back in that game. Plus she has short term memory loss, she can’t remember things. Her drs have said she had a TBI. She is trying school again but at Paul Mitchell Academy. She is wondering if she can get any disability benefits while attending school and living on her own. She is 19years old. Any help would be helpful

  15. My four year old son has autism. He has a speech problem, he’s smart but he doesn’t learn like other children. He has a very hard time with change so he doesn’t like his routine disturbed. He’s having to go to a early childhood learning center for occupational therapy and for his speech. I’m not quite sure if he qualifies or how to go about checking for it. He’s been to a pediatric psychologist and has been diagnosed already. I really just need to know how to go about checking for eligibility.

  16. my son have been evaluated and is autisic and he does get all the services they offer and also have hearing issues also does he qualify … i did the application and they said they dont have it

  17. My son has a digestive system disorder where he digest really fast n he eats a lot…n he has allergic reaction with Eczema,hives n other rashes.

    N I need someone to call me for about my son so I can get disability for my son…

  18. I’m on ssi and my ten year old daughter has major behavior issues how would I know or find out if she’s eligible for ssi?

  19. Hi. My sons school just did an evaluation on him and had a physiologis evalute him and he has a specific learning disability and their saying he has some signs of mental retardation. He is in 2nd grade and his reading is at a 1st grader and his math is at a kindergartener. He is eligible for SSI?

  20. My daughter is in the sixth grade and has been in a special ed program since Kindergarten she has never passed she has always been placed to the next grade. She also is on a third grade reading level and on second grade math. She also has asthma and allergy. Dose this qualify her for ssi.

  21. my son was born dead they told me he whould never do anything in the nic u walk talk any thing now he is 8 and the oppest of what tjey said when he was two everone told me to put him on meds I did no god made a splenter outnow a moth are so ago I did I am disabled my self he gets ever thig colds any thing to get a o splenter I h ave to take him to hospital are doctoer office

  22. I have custody of my 15 year old granddaughter since age 9
    & she has been diagnosed with Intellectual Disability or ID since i pulled her from public school where she was not learning at all so I put her in a private school which specializes in Dyslexia & she also has ADHD . So do I need to make an appointment to apply fro SSI for her.

  23. My son has been in north bay hospital for five months and has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and will b returning home under care and on meds does he qualify

  24. Thanks for helping me understand that being qualified for this type of insurance means that you have to meet the income criteria that they have. I guess my cousin’s family will be qualified. This is because he is the only one working in their family while his wife can’t work because they can’t afford to hire a nanny to watch for their son who has a condition.

  25. My daughter has severe nonverbal autism. She only had Medicaid due to the fact I was a stay at home mom. Most daycare wouldn’t take her due to her conditions. So I cared for her had & got her in home therapy to help her as well. However, she is now enrolled in school and in Special Needs classes. I went back to work and was told our family makes above the limit for regular Medicaid. She has in home therapy and lots of doctor visits. Even with me working, my husband working we can not afford the expenses for her medical needs. Friends and family advised SSI however I think we exceed the income requirements. Plus I don’t want a check for her, I just want be able to keep her Medicaid for all the doctors visits & therapies. Is there some kind of Disability Medicaid for children with severe mental disabilities.

  26. My son has failure to thrive an asthma he sees a pomoniligist.
    An my daughter has chronic persistent asthma she sees a ling specialist as well could they get SSI ?

  27. Hi I have a 9 year old son that’s been struggling with learning he is 9 right now and he repeated kindergarten twice because he was not learning anything he is currently a second grader right now and still doesn’t know his ABCs doesn’t know his numbers or colors he doesn’t know his last name he did before but doesn’t know it now. He can’t read and when he tries reading he starts reading from left to right!! when people are talking to him or he’s watching a movie or listening to someone read he knows doesn’t know if there’s speaking to him in English or in Spanish he doesn’t know the difference. After several times in their old school asking for an evaluation it never was performed his current School actually did follow up after I requested It. Well my son had an accident when he was a year-and-a-half he had head trauma he cracked his forehead open forehead glued was taken to the hospital didn’t know that would cause him so much problems. And this is my first time going through all of this I don’t know where to start or what to do but pretty much what I was told is my son can’t remember how to do things or what he does he may know how to write his name ask him again in 5 minutes he can’t he dosent remember what letters or how ro right his name he got all these ever relations done and I was told to apply for Social Security how do I do this does even qualifying please help

  28. Wow….I guess all the children of the folks asking if their child qualifies have hereditary issues….what idiots. Read all the comments where it CLEARLY states, we can not answer your questions regarding eligibility….and also at the top of the page where it once again CLEARLY states “Please note that we cannot answer any questions about specific situations. Please address all questions about eligibility or how to apply to” Maybe the admin of this page should put that in giant red lettering for all to see, I bet even then they will still ask. And for all you folks looking to make a “profit” and get free money from the government because your kid has a learning disability, you’re all shit. Go to work, deal with it and quit looking for excuses to make your children disabled.

  29. Hello my son had cystic hygroma and it affected his air way and he needed a trach in his neck and he had it all the way till 4 1/2 year old and it affected his tongue and speech and learning development and his tongue gets big and purple and we have to give a steroid all the time and he has asthma and very hyper can’t sit in one spot for a min and I been denied 2 times and I don’t understand why he isn’t able to ever be normal and I have to cut his food small and he also does have that thing under his tongue so if u could help or send me in the right direction I would really appreciate and thank u and god bless

  30. My daughter currently qualifies for SSI.. My question is about how the state job that her father works for and how the pay dates fluctuate. They have Biweekly Pay.. Because payday occurs once every two weeks, some months will have three paychecks, but obviously this generally means that the following month will be just one paycheck. Is it normal for her SSI to drop to less than $100 2 months after those months where there’s 3 paydays?

  31. Low birth weight: If your child is born prematurely, he or she could receive benefits. The SSA has a chart depicting how much your child must way at his or her time of birth to qualify.

    Please change way to weigh.

  32. My grandson is 18 months old now and was born with agenesis of the corpus callosum. My son and daughter-in-law have not tried to obtain any help from any organization. I keep telling them that the baby might be entitled to some SSI benefits. how do they go about finding out?

  33. My 9 year old daughter was born with turner syndrome and was recently diagnosed with adhd. Would she qualify to get ssi??

  34. My 9 year old daughter was born prematurely with turner syndrome and was recently diagnosed with adhd. Would she qualify to get ssi??

  35. Is there a recommended % amount that my son’s SSI money should go to each different category? For instants, 10% for food/necessities, 25% to rent/mortgage, 60% to medical/health/equipment, 5% recreational…..just made these up but I’m just not sure how much should contribute to what. And should a % be saved for future?

  36. If you have an iep in place for your child. They can easily qualify for ssi. I had 2 children qualify for ssi 1 for autism the other for adhd combined type. My 4yr old was denied for her adhd, odd, receptive language disorder. She doesn’t have an iep. They working on qualifying her special services. The best evidence is to have an iep alone with medical records supporting your child’s disability.

  37. I’ve been o ssdi for 3 years and my wife has become pregnant. I was wondering if that child would be eligible for benefits upon delivery of the baby.

  38. Hi
    My 22 month old daughter is been seen for physical and occupational therapy and they also evaluate her for speech therapy and she needs it as well. Can she qualify for SSI?

  39. Can a baby who is still in the hospital from the day he was born – so 8 months now, and should be getting released in a few weeks- can he get benefits while in the hospital? (Heart condition: situs transversus)… and if so, will they back pay from when he was born? Can we apply for the benefits now, even tho he is still in the hospital?

  40. My daughter will be 18years old October 9th. When can I apply for SSDI? Do I have to wait until she is 18 or can I apply any sooner?

  41. My daughter is 5years this, she has a VP Shunt in plant and she will having this tube inside her head for rest of her life, does she qualify? Thank you

  42. My daughter is 5years this, she has a VP Shunt inplant hydrocyphulus water growing in her brain nd she will having this tube inside her head and a slow learner , does she qualify for ssi? Thank you

  43. My son has autism in my not sure if I’m ready to let him go to school… And I was trying to apply for SSI for him how do I go about doing so

  44. My daughter is 17 now and been going to a therapist for depression disorder for a while but she finally admitted that she needed help with her meds which she would not take. I was wondering do she qualify for disability and if so what do I need to do.

  45. Hi,

    My son is 11 years old, he was born a preemie at 1lb. 8 oz. I did receive Social Security for him but he was cut off after he turned 5yrs. old. He continues to need more therapeutic services which are costly, he has cognitive delay, delay in motor skills and he is non-verbal with some Autisim symptoms. Would he qualify for social security so that I can get him the resources that I need for him to excel?

    Please advise?

  46. Does my 3 year old qualify for ssi he has speach delay sensory problems and has OT behavior therapy Speach and language therapy and autism

  47. Hello my son is 4 yrs old and has autism, he was already been evaluated. He is in speech theraphy and he will also have ABA Therapy. Does he qualifies for SSI?

  48. My son’s mother was in a tragic car accident in Oct. 2019. She has to be taken care of, cannot work, or even eat on her own. I know she qualifies for SSI. I now have full custody of my son, however I am being told he qualifies for SSI from his mother. How do I go about applying for this, and will I need his mother’s ss#? I have been trying to figure this out for about a month now with no luck. ANYTHING IS HELPFUL!!

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  50. My 12 year old daughter has anemia , POTS syndrome , APS syndrome , GI problems , physical therapy , spine schmorl’s nodes does she qualify for disability ?

  51. My 13 year old has oppositional defiance disorder reactive attachment disorder ADHD depression suicidal ideations and a few other things. We’ve only had her for 5 years but I’m not sure if she qualifies because these are mental type disorders. Does anybody know if she qualifies for some type of disability payments?

  52. My son is 13 years old and has Autism. Does he qualify and if he does how do I go about applying for him online?

  53. My 6 month old has a rare genetic disorder called VLCAD which is where her body cannot beak down certain fats to turn into energy her doctors say she has to eat every 3-4 hours this includes in the middle of the night as well and it affects her muscles and heart would she qualify

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