SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home516. What benefits may a child receive based on disability?

There are two Social Security disability programs that include disabled children.

Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, a child from birth to age 18 may receive monthly payments based on disability or blindness if:

  • He or she has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets the definition of disability for children and

  • the income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits.

Under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, an adult child (a person age 18 or older) may receive monthly benefits based on disability or blindness if:

  • He or she has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets the definition of disability for adults; and

  • the disability began before age 22; and

  • the adult child's parent worked long enough to be insured under Social Security and is receiving retirement or disability benefits or is deceased.

Under both of these programs, the child must not be doing any "substantial" work, and must have a medical condition that has lasted or is expected either to last for at least 12 months or to result in death

Last Revised: Nov. 16, 2010