Most parents will do whatever it takes to take care of and provide for their children. Eventually for most parents, their child will grow up and be able to get a job, thus giving themselves the opportunity to provide for themselves.

But for parents of children with disabilities, this is a future they know may never happen. This means that a parent’s need in this situation to provide for their child becomes more pronounced, leading them to ask questions like the one we’ve asked above:

My child has a disability, are they eligible for SSI benefits?

For those who don’t know, SSI stands for Supplemental Security Income, which is a federal benefits program offered to children, adults and people over the age of 65 who are blind or disabled and have little income or resources. Like its counterpart, Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), SSI requires applicants to meet certain eligibility requirements before their applications are considered and perhaps even approved.

The first requirement is that an applicant’s condition must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability, which we have outlined here. Next, the applicant, or in our scenario above a parent of a child with a disability, must present evidence that shows how the applicant’s condition is affecting their life as well as financial documents that support the applicant’s need for federal assistance.

Once all evidence has been gathered, all requirements have been met and all paperwork has been filled out and filed, the Administration will carefully review the applicant’s case and make a determination regarding access to benefits.

Whether a parent considers their child disabled or not does not matter. It matters what the Administration believes and this belief is based on the evidence presented during the initial application. It’s important to point out that sometimes the Administration makes a mistake and denies benefits for a legitimate claim. When this happens, an appeal is necessary.