top of page

Social Security Disability Benefits for Children


Once a child's application is submitted for SSI disability benefits, Social Security will do a preliminary financial analysis to see if the child (under age 18, unmarried and living with parents) is financially eligible for this needs based benefits.  If found financially eligible at this preliminary stage, an analysis will follow to determine whether the child's impairments meet the SSA Regulations of a compensable disability.


Proving Disability:

Children may receive Social Security Disability benefits if their condition meets a “Listing”, or if they have the functional equivalent of a listing level disability.   Listing level impairments are found at - qualify While the listing level impairments do include such conditions as autism, ADHD, and growth impairments, the diagnosis and medical records must demonstrate a very high level of severity for the condition to be found to meet a listing level.  If your child does not meet an edified "listing level', they may still qualify for benefits if their condition(s) meet the equivalent of a listing level;  a child may still be awarded benefits if they are found to have at least marked limitations in two or more domains of function, or at least an extreme limitation(s) in one or more domain of function.


The six Domains of Function are:

  1. Acquiring & Using Information,

  2. Attending To & Completing Tasks,

  3. Interacting & Relating With Others,

  4. Moving About & Manipulating Objects,

  5. Caring for Self 

  6. Maintaining Health & Physical Well-Being.



What evidence does SSA look at?  

  • Teacher's Evaluations - A basic form is SSA-5665-BK, IEPs, 

  • Doctors Records and Reports and

  • Layperson Statements -  Statements from others who have relevant evience about your child.  (Coach, Clergyman, Family Member, Supervisor if the child attempted work or a volunteer position.)

As your child approaches age 18, we encourage our clients to get follow up evaluations, especially from their teachers and job coaches, for that time that they will need to demonstrate that their child now meets the Adult Standard of Disability.  [Please use the "Article" tab to find our article - Transition at Age 18:  Your Eligibility for Disability May Change.]


SSI's Pre-Effectuation Review Conference (PERC) to Confirm Eligibility

If found medically eligible, Social Security will require the child's parent and/or guardian to attend a PERC meeting to check the current income and assets in the household, to make sure the hild is still financially eligible for SSI.  Note, the child will need a representative payee to handle her/his money.  The custodial parent is generally an appropriate representative payee; if that person is not appropriate, another representative payee must be found.

Guide for Representative Payee - See link: 




bottom of page