Social Security Benefits for Disabled Children


Social Security will pay benefits to a child who is disabled and dependent on help for the rest of their lives. Social Security defines disabled as a physical or mental condition so severe that it results in marked and severe limitations.


  • Increased disabled breadwinners and their survivors led to the development of a generous pension program after the Civil War. This program later developed into Social Security.


  • Social Security has two programs established to pay benefits to disabled children: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The SSDI program pays benefits to adults who were disabled prior to the age of 22.


  • When a child receives SSI, it is required by law that Social Security review the disabled child's medical condition from time to time to verify that continued disability benefit is valid.


  • Disability payments differ from state to state because some states pay out more benefits than others. Contact your local office for more information.

Time Frame

  • Expect to wait from three to five months for the Social Security agency to decide if a child is disabled. However, for some medical conditions, SSI payments will be made immediately.

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