SSI Eligibility for Children
Children under age 18 can get SSI if they meet Social Security's definition of disability for children and there are limited income and resources in the household. Social Security defines a disability as:
- The child must have a physical or mental condition(s) that very seriously limits his or her activities; and
- The condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least 1 year or result in death.
How to Apply
Tell us you want to apply for SSI for a child
Other Ways to Apply
Apply By Phone1
Call us to make an appointment to file an application at 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call us at TTY 1-800-325-0778.
1 If you are in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services with a specific phone number, please use that number for the best service.
Begin the Application Online
Applying for SSI requires 2 steps. You will need to complete the online Child Disability Report AND, with the help of a Social Security representative, complete an Application for SSI.
TIP: Before completing the Child Disability Report, use our Child Disability Starter Kit to get answers to commonly asked questions about applying for SSI. The kit also includes a worksheet that will help you gather the information you need.
Fill out the online Child Disability Report
The report usually takes about an hour to complete and collects information about the child's disabling condition and how it affects their ability to function.
We will ask you to sign a form that gives the child's doctor(s) permission to give us information about their disability. We need this information so that we can make a decision on the child's claim. In some cases, if the child is over age 12, he or she must sign his or her own medical release.
If you previously started a Child Disability Report for this child but did not finish it, you can use your re-entry number to return to your online Child Disability Report.
After you submit a report, we will call you within 3-5 business days. Together, we will:
- Review the completed Child Disability Report.
- Discuss whether the income and resources of the household are within the allowed limits.
- Start the SSI application process.
- Review the disability starter kit. It includes a checklist and a worksheet to help you gather the information you need. Have this information with you at the time of the interview.
- You can fill out a Child Disability Report.
- For more information visit Benefits for People with Disabilities or call toll-free 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 1-800-325-0778).
We will send you a letter. It can take 3 to 5 months for us to make a decision on a child’s SSI disability claim. We may also contact you by phone to ask additional questions. Let us know if your address or telephone number changes so that we can get in touch with you.
We provide free interpreter services to help you conduct your Social Security business, including helping you complete the SSI application and answering your questions. NOTE: the Child Disability Report is only available in English.
Call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. If you need service in Spanish, press 7 and wait for a Spanish-speaking representative to help you. For all other languages, stay on the line and remain silent during our English voice automation prompts until a representative answers. The representative will contact an interpreter to help with your call. You may access the information on this page in Spanish.