Social Security Insurance (SSI)

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Some children are eligible for Social Security Insurance, or SSI. If he has already been approved, you will receive information at placement. If not, you will have to apply for benefits.
The definition of disability according to the social security website is:

“We consider a child disabled if:

  • The child has a physical or mental impairment (or combination of impairments)
  • That causes marked and severe functional limitations;
  • And has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 consecutive months, or to result in death.
  • The child is not working at a job and doing substantial work.”
What you need to apply

To complete a Child Disability Report on behalf of a child applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you need to:

  • give us information about the child's medical conditions, medical records, education, and work history and
  • contact Social Security to complete an application for SSI benefits.
You can complete the Child Disability Report online but you must contact us to complete the SSI application. The SSI application can't be completed online. You can apply in person or over the phone, or get more information about SSI and this application process.

If you have any of the following records for the child at home, send them with your completed forms or bring them with you to the interview. If you need the records back, tell the office and they will photocopy them and return them to you.

  • The child's medical records
  • Copies of the child's prescriptions
  • The child's Individualized Education Program 
  • The child's Individualized Family Service Plan
You can find the application on-line at as well as a list of all documents you will need.

What happens next:

After SSI receives the child's disability report:

  • SSI reviews it to make sure all of the information is complete. SSI may contact you for missing or unclear information.
  • SSI will contact you to complete a formal application for benefits, if you haven't already done one.
  • SSI sends the child's forms to the State office that determines if the child is disabled under Social Security law.
  • The State office requests medical records from the hospitals, doctors, and other treatment sources and information from the child's teachers, schools, and other people whom you listed as having information about the child's illnesses, injuries or conditions.
  • The State office then reviews all the information it obtains.
It can be 3-5 months before you receive an answer on your application.

Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said. – Unknown

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Credits: Kelly L. Killian

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