Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits for Children

Modern Social Security card.

Modern Social Security card. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

     Childhood SSI benefits are available to children from birth up to age eighteen.  To qualify for childhood Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, a child must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition for disability for children and the parents must have low income and few resources.  To qualify for childhood SSI, the person must be not married, not be the head of a household and must be under age 18 or under age 22 and a regular student. 

     The child must be either disabled or blind.  The child has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments which result in marked and severe functional limitations; the condition(s) must have lasted or be expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months or be expected to result in death; or, if the child is blind, the same definition of “blind” applies as for adults.

The Social Security Administration has an obligation to provide benefits quickly to applicants whose medical conditions are so serious that their conditions obviously meet disability standards.  The Compassionate Allowance initiative allows Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for claims approval based on objective medical information that we can obtain quickly.  A complete listing of Compassionate Allowance conditions may be viewed online at:

    If a child is under age 18, not married, and lives at home with parent(s) who do not receive SSI benefits, a portion of the parents’ income and resources are considered as if they were available to the child.  This process is called “deeming.”  Deductions are made from deemed income for parents and for other children living in the home. The remaining amount to decide if the child meets the SSI income and resource requirements for a monthly benefit.

     When an eligible child under age 18, who has a representative payee, is eligible for certain large past–due payments covering more than six months of benefits, these payments must be paid directly into a separate account in a financial institution called a dedicated account because the representative payee, or later the child, may use the funds in this account only for certain expenses, primarily those related to the child’s disability. The account must be maintained separately from any other savings or checking account set up for the child.

     When the eligible child turns eighteen, the impairments will be reevaluated under the definition of disability for adults.

      If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation.  We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website.  Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, ChattanoogaKingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.


About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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