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How Much Does Social Security Disability Pay Per Child?


Blind or disabled children may qualify for Social Security disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income program. Children who are not blind or disabled may also qualify for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program when a disabled or deceased parent meets the eligibility requirements for SSDI benefits.

The disability advocates at London Disability want you and your children to receive all of the SSD benefits available to you. As you read through this overview of benefits available for children, keep in mind that a disability advocate is available to assist with claims for children’s benefits through SSDI and SSI.

How much does a child receive through SSI?

A child who is blind or disabled may qualify for SSI benefits. Eligibility guidelines for the SSI program define a “child” as someone who is:

  • Neither married nor the head of a household; and either
  • Younger than 18 years of age; or
  • Younger than 22 years of age and regularly attending school as a student.

A person meeting the definition as far as age and marital status must meet the financial guidelines for SSI eligibility that places limits on earned and unearned income as well as limiting the value of resources to $2,000. Social Security takes into consideration the income and resources of a parent or parents with whom the child resides through a process known as “deeming.”

Children also must be blind or disabled as defined by federal regulations. The definition of “disability” for a child applying for benefits through the SSI program requires the presence of a medically determinable physical or mental impairment causing marked and severe functional limitations. The impairments must be expected to cause death or to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months.

There is no duration requirement when an application for SSI benefits is submitted for a child qualifying as blind as defined under federal regulations. It should be noted that a child qualifying for SSI as disabled must be requalified as disabled within the definition for adults once the child reaches 18 years of age or 22 years of age if attending school. This requirement to requalify does not apply to children receiving benefits through SSI because of being blind.

Children qualifying for SSI may receive a maximum federal benefit each month of $841. If a child lives in a state that supplements the federal amount, then the total monthly benefit will be greater than $841. However, income a child has each month from other sources may reduce the amount of the SSI benefit. This would include income of a parent through the deeming process that applies a portion of parental income as available for the benefit of a child.

Payments to children through SSDI

Applicants for SSDI must have a work history with earnings subject to payment of Social Security taxes of sufficient duration to meet eligibility guidelines. Children with parents who qualify for SSDI may be eligible for family benefits provided they are younger than 18 years of age. A child attending school as a full-time student at 18 years of age may continue receiving family benefits until graduation from high school or two months after turning 19 years old, which occurs first.

Children, stepchildren, and adopted children of a parent who is eligible for benefits because of being disabled or retired can qualify for family benefits. A child of a deceased parent who worked long enough to qualify for Social Security disability or retirement benefits would also be eligible for family benefits.

How much does a child receive in family benefits?

Family benefits depend on the earnings record of the eligible parent. As a general rule, the maximum benefit payable to a child is 50% of the benefit paid to the parent. The child’s benefit increases to 75% of the benefit that would have been payable to a deceased parent.

When multiple members of a family qualify for family benefits, there is a cap that typically ranges from 150% to 180% of the benefit payable to the disabled parent. For example, if a parent who qualifies for SSDI has three children and each one is eligible for benefits, the total would be within the acceptable range. However, if that individual had four children, the benefit to each child would be reduced to keep it within the maximum benefit range. The benefit payable to the disabled parent would be unaffected.

We strive to get you the maximum allowable SSDI and SSI benefits

Whether you are applying for SSDI or SSI benefits for yourself or for a child, an experienced and insightful disability advocate from London Disability works hard to gather and present the information and medical evidence needed to prove your claim for benefits. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our gifted disability advocates.

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