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How Much Does a Child with Autism Get from SSI?

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2022 | Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Parents with children who suffer with autism should know their child is eligible to receive monthly benefits from the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program because of their disability. The severity of the disability is an important factor because Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) afflicts children to varying degrees. Some kids living with a milder experience on the autism spectrum may find their condition does not meet the definition of a “disability” established by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

NYDisability.com was founded by Attorney Daniel Berger to ensure that every disabled child receives the maximum amount of SSI benefit payments to which they are entitled. No disabled child should be denied access to available public financial resources that may ease the burdens they and their family face every day. If your child displays symptoms or has received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, contact the most experienced childhood SSI lawyer at NYDisability.com, Attorney Daniel Berger today.

2022 SSI Benefit Amount for Child With Autism

Every SSD benefit recipient starts with a full, maximum benefit amount before any applicable amounts are deducted from the monthly payment. In 2022, the full monthly benefit amount is $841. Since Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based federal program, only low-income individuals and families with very limited resources are eligible to receive SSI benefits.

In the case of a child with autism, the child’s circumstances are examined to identify any income or available financial resources just as an adult SSI applicant would be. In most cases, it is not the child’s direct income or resources that are determinative of the child’s eligibility for SSI payments. Instead, the question is how much of the parents’ income and resources are going to be “deemed” income for the child.

Monthly SSI Payment = Full Benefit Minus Countable Income

Every SSI recipient’s monthly benefit, including those of disabled children, starts at the full benefit amount of $841 (in 2022) and is then reduced by an amount that is determined by their total “countable income.” Because a disabled child with autism is unlikely to have any independent income, the SSA deems part of the parent’s income as benefiting the child. If the two parents are married and living with the child, then both parents’ income and resources will be considered.

Presuming one or both parent’s income is not above the cap for the child’s eligibility, the SSA will apply a formula for deeming parental income to the child for each individual month. As the parent’s income varies, so too will the amount of income deemed to the child, and consequently, the amount of the child’s SSI benefit payment will vary.

The “Parental Income Deeming Formula”

The formula SSI uses to determine how much income to deem to the child is complicated and the detailed calculations are beyond the scope of this blog post. Here is a general outline of how Social Security applies the formula:

  • Add up all the earned and unearned income of the parents, not counting excluded income like SNAP subsidies, tax returns, home fuel assistance, etc. (see Non-counted Income for SSI).
  • The parental income is then reduced by the amount SSI credits for the daily living of one parent ($421 in 2002 for each married parent living in the home) and deducts another $421 for any other noneligible minor children living also living in the home.
  • After those deductions, the remaining counted parental income is deemed to be the child SSI recipients.
  • The first $20 is deducted and the final figure is the amount deducted from the child’s SSI maximum benefit.


Let’s say the child with disabling autism lives with one parent and one noneligible minor sibling, and the parent’s total monthly income after all calculated exemptions is $1,950.

  • SSI deducts the parent’s own living allotment.

$1,150 – $421 = $729

  • SSI reduces that figure by the living allotment for the noneligible sibling.

$729 – $421 = $308

  • The disabled child SSI recipient is permitted another $20 deduction.

$308 – $20 = $288

  • $288 is the amount of the parent’s income deemed to be the SSI recipient’s income.
  • SSI subtracts that deemed income ($288) from the 2022 maximum SSI benefit:

$841 – $288 = $553

  • $553 would be this disabled child’s SSI benefit payment for that month.

Get the Expert SSI Lawyer for Your Child with Autism – Attorney Daniel Berger

The formula SSI uses to determine your disabled child’s SSI benefit payment is a complicated but important equation. As a parent of a child with autism, your child’s SSI benefits are important for providing them with the assistance and support they deserve. At nydisability.com, Attorney Daniel Berger has extensive experience working through these bureaucratic calculations and can guide you through the maze of SSI rules and regulations.