Applying for Social Security (Under 18)

Before your child or youth, you support turns 18, you can contact the Social Security Administration about disability benefits. Eligibility for financial assistance with supplement security income (SSI) is a step towards other services, like Medicaid. Here are some steps and resources to begin the process of applying for SSI.

What is Supplemental Security Income?

SSI is a monthly payment for people with disabilities. Individuals must have income and resources below a specific amount. To learn more about eligibility visit

Why Apply for SSI

In Washington State, if you receive SSI you will automatically be enrolled in Medicaid and eligible for SNAP (individuals will still have to complete an application).

Who qualifies for SSI?

Your child must have a physical or mental condition that very seriously limits their activities AND condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last at least 1 year, or result in death.

How to Begin the SSI Application (For Under 18)

SSI provides a monthly payment to eligible individuals to help with basic needs. This is for children with physical or mental disabilities. To learn more visit

To Apply By Phone: Call 1-800-772-1213 to file an application. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

To begin applying for SSI, you must complete two steps.

  1. Complete the Child Disability Report
  2. Once you submit the Child Disability Report, you will receive a call in 3-5 business days. This is when you will schedule an interview to complete your SSI application. (It is not required but important to gather as much information BEFORE your interview) For the complete Child Disability Report visit

When completing the SSI application, there are specific items that will need to be collected which include:

  • Identifying documents, such as birth certificates and social security number medical records from all providers who treat the child for their condition or illness proof of
  • Income for caregivers
  • Proof of resources for caregivers
  • Proof of living arrangements, such as a lease or mortgage
  • Information about household costs

SSI considers a child’s income and resources when deciding if they are eligible and considers the income and resources of family members living in the child’s household. Learn more at

More Resources:

Assistance Applying for SSI

The Social Security Administration helps with applying for SSI. To begin, it will ask for basic information such as the name and date of birth of the person interested in SSI. Once you complete the online process, a Social Security representative will schedule an appointment to help you apply for benefits. To apply for assistance, visit

SSI Child Disability Starter Kit

The Social Security Administration has created a guide for parents and caregivers to use before applying for SSI. It provides information on the process, a checklist for interviews, a worksheet to list your child’s or individuals’ information, and more. To access the kit visit

Resources for SSI

Northwest Access Fund offers people with disabilities resources, customized loans, financial coaching, and more. Northwest Access Fund offers monthly classes led by a Certified Benefits Planner and provides an overview of the SSI application process. To learn more visit

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