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 www.socialsecurity.gov/applyfordisability.
Alternatives are available
Q: Does Social Security provide special services or information for people who are blind or visually impaired?
A: Yes. Social Security offers a number of services and products specifically designed for people who are blind or visually impaired. For example, we make all our publications available in multiple formats including braille, audio cassette tapes, compact discs or enlarged print. Also, most of our publications are available online in audio format.
To get any of these products in alternative formats, contact us by:
Going online to www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/alt-pubs.html; calling (800) 772-1213 (TTY, (800) 325-0778) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; contacting your local Social Security office; contacting your U.S. Embassy or Consulate, if you live outside the United States.
Or you may mail, call or fax your request to: Social Security Administration, Braille Services Branch 6401 Security Boulevard, L1141 W Low Rise Baltimore, MD 21235 Phone: (410) 965-6414 or (410) 965-6407 (TTY, (800) 325-0778), Fax: (410) 965-6413.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration.