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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