How to Add My Grandson to My SSI Disability

Disability benefits provide cash for living expenses for those who are eligible.
Disability benefits provide cash for living expenses for those who are eligible. (Image: cash image by Alexey Klementiev from

The collection of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits involves a very regulated process of obtaining government approval. Disabled persons who meet government definitions of eligibility as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA) are allowed to receive benefits and, in some cases, can expand such eligibility to spouses and immediate family members they care for such as children. Consulting with a licensed benefits lawyer before applying is always a good idea.

Make sure you are eligible to receive SSI disability benefits from the federal government, as ineligible applicants will get rejected automatically. You must have a disability as defined by the administration. Gather identification about each grandchild that you intend to include in your application, including name, address, and Social Security number.

Collect the child’s birth certificate and the Social Security number of the natural parent who may be deceased or disabled. Confirm the grandchild to be included is a direct dependent under the IRS tax definition, under 18, and not included under any parent work benefit.

Fill out an application to the SSA in the form of an Adult Disability Report to include your grandchild as a benefit recipient associated with your case. Make a photocopy for your records and submit your application to the SSA with appropriate postage and marked envelope. Apply online if you want to send your application electronically.

Respond clearly and promptly to any clarification questions or verifications to your application requested by the SSI application review personnel. Allow for the review process to take some period of time (average waiting time can be three to five months to complete a review). Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for any questions or application status or visit a Social Security office in person.

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