Federal Supplemental Security Income for Children with Disabilities

The federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program assists low-income individuals who are living with a disability, or 65 years old or older. SSI benefits are also available to qualified children with severe disabilities. The federal SSI program has been in effect since the 1970s and has seen substantial growth in the number of child recipients over time. SSI is the only federal monthly cash benefit directed toward families caring for children with disabilities, and is available only for the lowest-income and most severely impaired children. SSI is meant to assist with the high financial and time-based costs for families caring for a child with severe disabilities.

This page identifies and displays key features of the federal Supplement Security Income program, with a focus on children with disabilities that were in effect beginning January 1, 1996 and November 1, 2018.  

Click here to explore a complementary project, which maps the key features of state-level supplemental security payment laws for children with disabilities across all 50 states and the District of Columbia in effect beginning January 1, 1996 to November 1, 2018. 

This publication was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number NU38OT000141 awarded to ChangeLab Solutions and funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Department of Health and Human Services.

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