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Public Benefits

Assistance for Children

What is the disability determination process for a child seeking SSI benefits?

The application process for children is similar to the process for adults, but with a different disability determination process. An overview is provided below; click on the following link for a more detailed description for applying for disability benefits for a child.

To be considered disabled and eligible for SSI:
- The child must not be working and earning more than $900 per month in 2007 (this limit is adjusted annually)
- The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” In other words, the disability must seriously limit the child’s activities.
- The child’s condition must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 12 months; or must be expected to result in death.

SSA evaluates your child’s disability for eligibility by:
- Asking you for detailed information about your child’s medical condition and how it affects his or her ability to function on a daily basis
- Requesting and evaluating information from the doctors, teachers, therapists and other therapists that have information about your child’s condition

The following documents will be required:
- Your child’s SSN
- Your child’s birth certificate
- Medical and school records
- Information related to visits to doctors or hospitals
- Copies of medical reports or information that you have in your possession

If your child is under 18 and applying for SSI, you will need to provide records showing your income and resource, as well as those of your child.

Be prepared to describe how your child’s disability affects his or her ability to function on a day to day basis

Provide names of teachers, day care providers and family members who can provide information about how your child functions.

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