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How to Apply for Supplemental Security income (SSI)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal direct relief program. Families with a child who qualifies for SSI receive a monthly benefit (average of $647 per month). If your child receives SSI, he or she will also get Medicaid health coverage.

Step 1: REVIEW the child disability starter kit

The kit includes:

  • A checklist for your child disability interview
  • A worksheet that will help you organize information about your child’s medical history
You can find the worksheets and more information here.

the SSA

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will check if your income and resources meet eligibility requirements. You can also begin the application process.

Call 1-800-772-1213 to find your local Social Security office (hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.)

Step 3: FILL OUT the online child disability report

Visit the SSA website to get started with the child disability report and learn more.

Our Family Resource Specialists can help you with this process. Contact us to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can get SSI?

Your child under the age of 18 can get SSI if:

  • He or she has a physical or mental condition that seriously limits activities, AND
  • The condition has lasted (or is expected to last) at least one year, or result in death, AND
  • Your family has limited income and resources

What does “limited income and resources” mean?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider family income and resources when deciding if your child can receive SSI. This is called “deeming.” Deeming eligibility depends on many factors, including:

  • Whether 1 or 2 parents live with your family
  • How many other children are in your family
  • How much income your family receives in a month
  • Your family’s countable resources (things you own and can turn into cash)

What should I do if I have been denied?

The state of Ohio approves about 36% of the applications received for disability benefits. If your application is denied, you can apply for reconsideration. If your child is still not approved for SSI benefits, you may request a disability hearing with Ohio OOD, Division of Disability Determination. While it can take 16-18 months for the hearing to take place, about 47% of applications are approved.

Organizations That Can Help

The United States Social Security Administration


Cleveland Office
RM 793 AJC Fed Bldg
1240 E. 9th St.
Cleveland, OH 44199

Lorain Office
221 W 5th St.
Lorain, OH 44052


The Arc of Greater Cleveland & The Arc of Ohio

The Arc of Greater Cleveland
View in Provider Directory

The Arc of Ohio

Disability Rights Ohio


Ohio Disability Rights Law and Policy Center, Inc.
200 Civic Center Drive
Suite 300
Columbus, Ohio 43215


Call, text or email:

Phone: 1-440-570-5908
EspaƱol: 1-440-907-9130
Email: info@connectingforkids.org


P.O. Box 45372
Westlake, Ohio 44145

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