SSI for Children

Supplemental Security Income for Children

Supplemental Security Income provides needed income support to children under 18 who meet Social Security’s definition of disability for children and whose families have low income and resources.  Unlike other forms of Social Security benefits, SSI is not an insurance system and there is no requirement that a work record was established by either the child or his or her caretaker.

Funding Source

Supplemental Security Income is paid from the General Funds appropriated to the federal budget every year.


  • Under 18
  • Meet the children’s definition of disability (not working and earning over Substantial Gainful Activity in countable income, has a physical or mental condition or combination of conditions that results in “marked and severe functional limitations”, and the condition must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 months or must be expected to result in death)
  • Meet the countable income and asset limits, which include the income and assets of parents or step-parents living in the home
  • Note:  When children receiving SSI reach age 18, they must go through a redetermination process and meet the adult disability standard

How Benefit Amount is Calculated

SSI has a standard federal benefit rate.  In 2012, that rate is $698.  The amount of SSI that a child receives could be reduced due to a parent’s income, work income, child support or other income received by the child.