Social Security helps families

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 31, 2015

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.

In July, the world celebrates World Youth Day. 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 disabled, retired, or deceased. Those benefits help with their day-to-day needs.

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In addition, Social Security provides vital income for disabled children, including people disabled since childhood, through our Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program and our Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 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

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 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 ADA’s inception, 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


Jeri Fields is the manager of the district Social Security office in Ironton.