What To Know About Social Security Disability And Your Child

Most people know about Social disability that covers workers who can no longer work at their jobs due to a medical condition, but what about the kind of disability that covers a child? This form of Social Security, which is also available to adults who have medical conditions and own very little property, is called Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Unlike the other kind of Social Security, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), this benefit program has nothing to do with how much you have paid into the system through past work history. To learn more about SSI coverage for your disabled child, read on.

Income and Medical Conditions

While your child must have a medical condition that is recognized by the Social Security Administration (SSA), that aspect of your claim will not even be addressed unless you are able to qualify your child based on income. Those with medium-to-high incomes (which is based on your state's median income) likely won't meet the standards which are aimed at families who are at or near the poverty level. Income alone is not the only consideration; the property owned is considered as well. Not all property is counted; your main residence and a vehicle is exempt.


The SSA uses a process they call "deeming" to determine eligibility for children. The funds the family earned or has, whether it be income from a job, other disability payments or funds in a bank or investment account, are all "deemed" as being available for a minor child with a covered disability. There are, however, some items that are not counted towards the deemed amount, such as:

  • TANF – Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
  • SNAP – Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Foster care income
  • Veterans pension income
  • Other considerations are the number of other minor children living in the home and the number of adults who earn income.

A Month to Month Benefit

Just as with other forms of SSA benefits, income auditing is a monthly process. This means that you must declare the amount of money coming into your household on a monthly basis, and too much income could reduce your benefit payment for that month. Additionally, the presence of the child in the home is examined on a monthly basis. For example, if your child should elect to go live with other relatives, the benefit payment may be suspended. On the other hand, if the child is simply visiting grandma for a few weeks during a school holiday, the benefit will remain unchanged.

If you have been denied benefits, talk to a Social Security attorney, such as Glen Cook Social Security Attorney.