Children and adults who have never worked may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
There are two main requirements for SSI. The first is household income, which must be below a certain level. For a child, Social Security looks at the income of all the adults in the household. This number can be difficult to calculate because some types of income are considered and some are not. The best way to determine whether your child meets the income requirement is to call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to a representative between 7AM and 7PM Monday through Friday (excluding holidays). It is helpful to have a paystub from each working adult in the household, as well as information regarding the amounts in your bank accounts and any income from other sources such as stock dividends. It is necessary to call Social Security because an SSI application cannot be completed online. If the household income is low enough to meet the income requirement, then Social Security will determine whether your child’s medical impairments are sufficiently severe to be disabling by their definition. You can help this process along by doing the following before calling Social Security:
- Go to http://www.ssa.gov/disability/disability_starter_kits_child_eng.htm
- Review the Fact Sheet Complete the Checklist—Child Disability Interview
- Complete the Medical and School Worksheet
- Complete the Child Disability Report which can be found here: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ssa-3820.pdf
Gathering records from your child’s school and medical providers may also be helpful. Do not send them to Social Security until you have completed an application and are either given a bar code to attach to them or an address to which to send them.