Children and Youth

Children and Youth


When youth who have been receiving SSI benefits as children reach age 18, they must be reevaluated to determine whether they meet SSA’s medical and nonmedical eligibility criteria for adults. This process – referred to as “redetermination” – is essential for youth who will continue to need SSI support into adulthood.

Here are some frequently asked questions about obtaining SSI benefits for children in foster care.

SOAR is a key part of a systemic response to ending youth homelessness and represents an innovative model for increasing income and housing stability for youth who have disabling conditions, particularly for those exiting foster care.

Transition age youth (TAY), (youth and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25), who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and have serious mental illness and other medical impairments may find it difficult to maintain employment and may also struggle to access disability benefits. The Social Security Administration's (SSA) narrow definition of disability combined with a lack of support throughout the application process has created an environment rich with myths.

Kristin Lupfer, Project Director of the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center, facilitated a workshop at the National Federation of Families' 2021 Virtual Conference titled, "Reducing Homelessness for Families, Children, and Youth with Disabilities Using the SOAR Model."

SOAR Leaders can use the SOAR for Children: Process Intercepts Infographic when marketing SOAR for Children to new audiences or to identify areas for engaging new stakeholders.

The Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP) is an exciting opportunity from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for communities to design and implement a plan to prevent and end youth homelessness. In FY2019/2020, up to 50 communities, including eight rural communities, will be selected to receive $1-15 million (for a total of $145 million) towards implementing new and innovative projects. 

Here are some tools created by the SOAR TA Center that are specific to the child SSI application process. 

Estos son algunos de nuestros recursos traducidos al español. (Here are some of our resources translated into Spanish).

The SAMHSA SOAR TA Center has developed six custom SSI for Children information sheets that provide guidance for assisting with the child SSI application process.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is piloting a new policy that allows foster youth of any age to apply for SSI up to 6 months (180 days) before they leave care. 


On this webinar, held on February 3, 2021, we discussed engagement and collaboration strategies for submitting complete SSI applications for children.

On this webinar, held on February 21, 2019, the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center shared new tools and resources for completing Child SSI applications, including the new SOAR Online Course: Child Curriculum. As well, SOAR Leaders discussed their strategies and plans for implementing SOAR for Children initiatives in their communities.

Issue Briefs

This issue brief, developed by the SAMHSA SOAR TA Center explores how use of the SOAR model can increase access to income and health insurance, facilitate housing stability, and support unaccompanied youth pursing education and vocational goals. 

This issue brief, developed in collaboration with the SOAR TA Center, discusses the disability determination process and medical eligibility criteria for child SSI applications.

This issue brief, developed by the SOAR TA Center, discusses how SOAR’s intensive engagement process and holistic approach to applying for SSI and SSDI can benefit the vulnerable and difficult-to-serve population of transition age youth.

SOAR Voices

SOAR Voices Blogs

There are currently no blogs for this topic.