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How are Social Security childhood benefits determined?

For children who have not paid into Social Security's Disability Insurance program may still qualify for the administration's Supplemental Security Income program if the underage child meets specific conditions. To meet the conditions, typically the parents must meet specific criteria.

To be considered for Supplemental Security Income, a parent must fall within certain income criteria. Among the income under consideration is earned income including wages from employment or self employment and other forms of income and compensation; unearned income such as unemployment benefits, state disability payments; in-kind income such as food or shelter provided to the applicant and deemed income or income that is received from other parties such as parents or guardians or other members of the household.

For the child to be considered, it must be proven that the child suffers from a condition causing "marked and severe limitations". This can be either a mental or physical condition or both. Like Social Security Disability Insurance, it must also be expected to last at least a year or be expected to end in the victim's death.

The Social Security Disability Insurance program may also be available to adults who have suffered from the injury, illness, or mental condition since childhood. This is applicable to victims who have been suffering since before the age of 22, or for dependants whose parents have qualified for SSDI benefits. To qualify, the recipient must either be receiving disability benefits or retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration or have worked the appropriate time under Social Security to qualify.

Source: findlaw.com, "Social Security Disability Benefits for Disabled Children," Accessed on Jan. 12, 2016

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