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Can I obtain Social Security Disability for my child?


Many people in Tennessee believe that Social Security Disability only applies to adults who have a disability that prevents them from working. However, as a Social Security attorney in Tennessee knows, parents with a disabled child may be able to obtain SSD benefits for that child.

Supplemental Security Income

Social Security has two programs for dependent disabled children. The first program is Supplemental Security Income, which applies to children who are younger than 18 years old and have a qualifying disability.

According to Social Security, the Social Security benefits for a child completed through SSI benefits roughly 8.4 million people a year, 16 percent of which are younger than 18. In order to qualify for SSI, children younger than 18 must meet the following requirements:

  • The child must not be working or earning more than $1,070 a month (a number that changes every year).
  • The child's condition must be disabling for at least 12 months, or it must be expected to result in death.
  • The child's condition must have marked and severe functional limitations.

It is important to note that children who do not qualify due to their parents' income may end up qualifying once they turn 18 years old.

Social Security Disability Insurance

The other program available is Social Security Disability Insurance, which applies for adults who have a disability that began before they were 22 years old. As a Social Security attorney in Tennessee would know, the Social Security Administration considers this a children's benefit because it is paid through the parents' Social Security earnings record.

To qualify for SSDI, at least one of the disabled person's parents must be receiving either Social Security Disability or retirement benefits. Or, one of the person's parents must have died and have a substantial record of working under Social Security.

Application process

To apply for SSI child benefits, a parent or guardian should first contact Social Security to ensure that the income and resources of the household are within the current limits. Once ascertained, the parent or guardian will need to complete an application for SSI or SSDI as well as a child disability report that will detail the child's condition. This can be done over the phone or at a Social Security office. The applicant will need to have the child's Social Security number and birth certificate.

The application process may be confusing and even overwhelming for those taking care of a child with disabilities. Anyone with questions regarding the matter should consult with a Social Security attorney in Tennessee.

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