How does Social Security decide if my family financially qualifies for childhood SSI benefits?

May 22, 2018

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for children give financial support to families of children with life-altering health impairments.

With SSI, parents get monthly income assistance to help provide for their children’s health, development and educational needs. Qualifying for SSI also means your family will qualify for Medicaid health care.

Childhood SSI is a form of disability benefit run by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Getting these benefits can make a major difference for a family on a tight budget raising a child with special needs.

Parents applying for Childhood SSI must show that their family meets these financial requirements:

  • A working single parent with no additional children in the household besides the one qualifying for SSI must have an annual income of $39,612 or less (updated in 2021).
  • A two-parent household without other children must have earned income under $49,140 (updated in 2021).
  • You will likely qualify if your family receives state assistance, food stamps or Medicaid.

Nash Disability Law helps families in the Chicago area get children’s SSI benefits.

Keep reading for more from our SSI attorneys on how to gain access to financial assistance that creates a better future for you and your child with disabilities.

What Else Do I Need to Know about the Financial Requirements for Childhood SSI?

The income guidelines listed above are just examples to give you an idea of the income limits that apply to Childhood SSI.

Social Security has a sliding scale of qualifying household income limits that change depending on your household size, including single parent or married households—and families with different numbers of children living at home.

Social Security also has another scale for when your income is not from working, but from sources such as Social Security Disability or retirement, pensions, unemployment insurance, state disability benefits or interest income.

On that scale, a single parent without other children besides the child who will receive SSI must have “unearned” income under $19,536 a year (as of 2021), and a married couple must have less than $24,300 (also in 2021) in this type of income.

These numbers also change from year to year.

Disability attorneys at Nash Disability Law can help you understand how you may qualify. There is no charge for you to talk to us about your child’s claim.

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What Other Qualifications Are There for Children’s SSI Disability Benefits?

In addition to the financial requirements, a child must meet health-related qualifications to be eligible for children’s SSI benefits .

These include:

  • Being under 18, or not yet graduated from high school
  • Having an impairment that’s defined by Social Security as “marked and severe”
  • An inability for the child to function the same way as other children the same age
  • An expectation that the child’s disability will last at least 12 months (or already has lasted that long)

Demonstrating all of this to the SSA means submitting medical records, school documents and more.

Many families are denied for SSI benefits. But a disability attorney can help you put together your information showing how your child meets both the health and financial eligibility for SSI, so you have a better chance of being approved.

You can fight for your family and your child to get the resources you need for a healthier life.

Talk to the disability lawyers at Nash Disability Law.