Qualifying factors for children

For a child under 18 to qualify for SSI, these 3 things must meet the requirements:

  1. The child's disability 

  2. The family's income 

  3. The family's countable resources

Image showing icons for different kinds of disabilitiesDisability:

  • Your child's disability must fit into SSI's definition of a qualifying disability. 


Image of a dollar billFamily income: 

  • Income has to be below a certain limit.

  • The income limit will differ depending on how many parents live in the household.

  • Income from step parents and siblings does count if they live in the same house.

Image of a money bag meaning countable assetsCountable resources:

  • Family's resources have to be below a certain limit.

  • These include certain things that you own that have value.

  • Examples: money in the bank, stocks, life insurance (but not your house!)


Deeming: Only part of the family's income and resources count

  • There is a process called "deeming" to see how much of the family's resources count.

  • Since the family is caring for their child, a portion of their income and resources will count as the child's. SSI deems part of your assets to your child.

  • This is like a tax form: you count certain kinds of income and deduct (subtract) certain amounts from the total.

These are situations where it's easier to qualify because the income limits are higher:

  • A child lives with only one parent.

  • There's more than 1 child with a disability in the household.

  • A child is blind. 

  • If your child does not live with you. For example if they live in a residential school year round, then your income and resources do not count. Only their own income and resources will count.

We will go over all of these in the next pages and help you figure it out!