Frequently Asked Questions

What are the disability eligibility requirements for children?

  • The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions, that result in “marked and severe functional limitations.”
  • The child’s condition(s) must have been disabling, or be expected to be disabling, for at least 12 months; or the condition(s) must be expected to result in death.
  • The child must not be working and earning more than $1,130 a month in 2016.

What does Social Security consider to be a severe impairment for children?

  • The question for disability examiners is whether a condition has become severe enough to put a significant burden on a child’s ability to engage in age-appropriate activities.

How does Social Security define age-appropriate activities?

  • Age appropriate activities are the accepted age level functional activities that a child should be able to perform.

What sort of evidence does Social Security review in child disability claims?

  • When a disability examiner works to process an SSI claim involving a child, their evidence gathering activity will focus on both A) medical records and B) school records.
  • Disability examiners will also consider records from speech, occupational, and physical therapists.

Can a child receive disability benefits for a learning disability?

  • Social Security does not discern between physical or mental impairments, only how the impairment or impairments affect the child’s ability to function in daily activities.

How long to children disability benefits last?

  • Once a child turns eighteen, the SSI beneficiary would have the same eligibility requirements as an adult.


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