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Children With Disabilities: Social Security Benefits

Applying For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Social Security Retirement Income (SSR) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits

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You can apply for Social Security or SSI benefits for your child by calling or visiting your local Social Security office. It is advisable to have the child's Social Security number and original or certified copy of the child's birth certificate when you apply. If you're enrolling your child for SSI, you also will need to provide records that show your income and your assets, as well as those of the child.

The medical evaluation specialists at the DDS need thorough and detailed medical records to help decide if your child is disabled. You can speed up the claims process by providing full medical records or by helping obtain them.

When you file, you will be asked to provide names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other specialists your child has visited.

In addition, if your child is under age 18 and applying for SSI, you will be asked to describe how your child's disability affects his or her ability to function on a day-to-day basis. You may be asked to provide the names of teachers, day care providers, and family members who can give information about how your child functions. If you have any school records, you should bring them with you to the interview.

Be as specific and thorough as possible when you answer Social Security's questions. This means that you should give them the dates of visits to doctors or hospitals, the account numbers and any other information that will help get your child's medical records as soon as possible. If you do not have all of this information, tell the interviewer as much as you know.

For advice concerning how to conduct yourself in the interview, see How To Make A Friend At Social Security.

In many communities, special arrangements have been made with medical providers, social service agencies, and schools to help Social Security get the evidence needed to process your child's claim. Most DDS's have Professional Relations Officers who work directly with these organizations to facilitate this process. However, your additional cooperation in obtaining records and evidence will help obtain a faster decision about your claim.

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