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Social Security Q&A: What defines 'disabled' for children getting SSI?

Q: What is the definition of disability for children filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? A: Social Security has a strict definition of disability for children under the SSI program. A child who is under age 18 is considered disabled if he or she: Has a physical or mental condition (or a combination of conditions) resulting in "marked and severe functional limitations." That means that the condition very seriously limits the child's activities; and The condition has lasted, or is expected to last, at least one year or is expected to result in death. To decide whether a child is disabled for SSI purposes, we look at medical and other information (such as information from ...

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