Social Security relies on school officials and teachers to help us correctly pay benefits to students.
We pay benefits to some students who are between 18 and 19 years old and still in full-time attendance in elementary or secondary school. We may ask you to certify that a student is in full-time attendance at your school in order to pay benefits. You can learn the details of this process on our page, For School Officials.
Providing Information About A Child Who Files For Disability
We also pay benefits to children who are under age 18 and are disabled. When we determine whether a child is eligible for disability benefits, we may ask you to provide information about his or her day-to-day functioning in school compared to other children the same age who do not have impairments.
Sending School Records
If a state agency that makes disability determinations on our behalf (a state Disability Determination Services (DDS)) or a Social Security office needs additional information from your school about a child who has applied for disability benefits, you may receive one of the following requests for information:
The information you provide helps the DDS and Social Security determine if the student qualifies for disability benefits.
When you receive a request for information about a child who has applied for disability, you can submit the information by one of the following methods, whichever works better for you:
- Online to Social Security's secure website; or
- By fax to your state DDS or to Social Security.
The records you send are automatically associated with the child's disability claim folder.
If you would like to learn more about submitting records online, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-691-3061. You may also contact the Professional Relations Office of your state's DDS.
About The Teacher Questionnaire
Social Security uses information from both medical and non-medical sources to decide whether a child qualifies for disability benefits:
- Medical sources include doctors and other health care professionals.
- Non-medical sources include teachers and other people who spend time with the child.
Information from sources who know the child well is important, because we consider how a child functions at school, at home, or in the community when we determine whether a child is disabled.
When you complete a Teacher Questionnaire (SSA-5665), the information you provide about the child’s day-to-day functioning in school will help us to:
- Determine the effects of the child's impairment(s); and
- Compare the child's functioning to that of other children the same age who do not have impairments.
We need this information from you even if you have taught (or did teach) the child for only a short time.
Your information is not the only information we will consider when we decide if the child qualifies for disability benefits, but it is very important to us.
About The Request For Administrative Information
Social Security uses information from a child's school records, along with all other relevant evidence about the child, to decide whether he or she qualifies for disability benefits.
A state DDS will typically send the Request for Administrative Information to the administrative office in a child's school or to the central administrative office for a school district, depending on where the child's individual academic records are maintained.
The Request for Administrative Information asks if the child has had any recent evaluation or testing, whether the child has been referred for special education services, and whether the child has been identified as having any educational disabilities. These facts and the information we obtain from copies of comprehensive evaluations, triennial assessments, psychological or speech/language testing, current Individualized Education Programs, teacher/therapist progress reports, and other school records, help us evaluate a child’s functioning.