Social Security serves a person for life — from birth, to death and even beyond — by helping to care for surviving dependents. When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial future in an otherwise turbulent time. And, we pay benefits to adults and children.
Social Security is no stranger to helping children in need. Every year, about 4.4 million children receive monthly benefits because one or both of their parents are either disabled, retired or deceased. Those benefits help with their day-to-day needs.
In addition, Social Security provides vital income for disabled children, including people disabled since childhood, through our Social Security Disability Insurance program and our Supplemental Security Income program.
To qualify for children’s benefits under the SSDI program, the applicant must be the child of a parent entitled to benefits and meet Social Security’s strict definition of disability. He or she must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of disabling conditions, that seriously limits his or her daily activities and is expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
The SSI program provides payments to blind or disabled children who live in households with low income and limited resources if they meet our strict definition of disability. You can find more information on eligibility requirements by visiting our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. The ADA ensures equal opportunity for and equal treatment of people with disabilities at school, in work places, in commercial facilities, and through the services available from state and local government agencies. The ADA requires that government agencies communicate with Americans who have disabilities in the way that fits their needs. This legislation shows our nation’s commitment to all people, despite their physical and mental disabilities.
Since the inception of the ADA, Social Security has been — and continues to be — at the forefront, providing accommodations for disabled beneficiaries and employees. It’s a natural part of who we are as an agency.
If you think your child may qualify for children’s benefits, you can apply by calling Social Security toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by visiting your local Social Security office. You can also read our publication, Benefits for Children, at
Jane Yamamoto-Burigsay is Social Security’s public affairs specialist in Hawai‘i.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Question: Why should I sign up for a my Social Security online account?
Answer: my Social Security gives you a personal online account that you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can:
• Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;
• Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;
• Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them; and
• Manage your benefits, including:
• Change your address or telephone number;
• Start or change your direct deposit;
• Get a replacement Medicare card; and
• Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.
To find all of the services available and set up an account, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount.