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Can children get disability benefits?

Published: December 16, 2012

Q: Do disabled children qualify for disability benefits?

A: There are two Social Security disability programs that provide benefits for disabled children. Under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, a child from birth to age 18 may receive monthly payments based on disability or blindness if:

• The child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets the definition of disability for children.

• The income and resources of the parents and the child are within the allowed limits.

Under Social Security, an adult child (a person age 18 or older) may receive monthly benefits based on disability or blindness if:

• The adult child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meet the definition of disability for adults.

• The disability began before age 22.

• A parent of the adult child worked long enough to be insured under Social Security and is receiving retirement or disability benefits, or is deceased.

Under both of these programs, the child must not be doing any substantial work. The child also must have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or result in death. Learn more at

Alternatives are available

Q: Does Social Security provide special services or information for people who are blind or visually impaired?

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