How to Fill out Form SSA-3820

The SSA-3820 form is the “Disability Report – Child” form which is the central piece of documentation in any Social Security Disability (SSD) application for a minor child. Form SSA-3820 requests information on the child for whom you’re applying for benefits, like his or her age, height, weight and other basic details.

The Child Disability Report asks for information about your relationship to the child, and for extensive details about the medical condition that causes the child’s disability. This includes a formal diagnosis and date of disability onset, as well as medications and other treatments, treating physicians, medical and other diagnostic tests that have been completed, and education related information. If the child is old enough to work, there are also questions on form SSA-3820 related to his or her employment history.

Why Form SSA-3820 is Important

The Disability Report - Child is the central component of the SSD application, second only to the application itself. It contains all the basic information about your child’s medical and/or psychological condition as well as all the other details that are required for verifying and evaluating his or her disability.

Form SSA-3820 is used by the SSA, in conjunction with medical records and other substantiating documentation, to make a decision on your child’s eligibility to receive disability benefits, which are paid through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) fund rather than through the SSD fund.

While disability benefits for minor children are paid from the SSI fund, and SSI eligibility is largely dependent on the income and other financial resources of the parents of disabled children, the medically substantiated disability of the child is still a crucial component of eligibility for benefits. The form SSA-3820 is used as the groundwork or central document for investigating and evaluating the child’s condition and his or her eligibility for benefits under the SSA’s guidelines.

How to Complete Form SSA-3820

The Child Disability Report is a long form and asks for a lot of detail about your child and his or her medical condition, living situation, education and other life circumstances. It can take some time to complete, but you should be diligent in collecting the required information and as thorough as possible in filling in all answers required on the form.

Even if a question doesn’t apply in your particular circumstances, you must still answer it. Stating that the question “does not apply” is sufficient. Any question left blank can delay the review and/or approval of benefits for your child because the SSA will need to seek further information before making an eligibility determination.

Any questions that request an explanation must be answered with one. In other words, yes or no answers only suffice when that’s what the SSA-3820 asks for. If the form asks for additional information or an explanation, you must provide it, or expect delays in the SSA’s review process while disability determination staff seeks the answers required for evaluating your child’s eligibility for benefits.

Having copies of your child’s medical records to reference when completing the Child Disability Report is the easiest way to ensure you accurately reflect medical tests, dates of medical treatments or evaluations, and other details on the SSA-3820. Providing consistent information on all SSD forms is an important part of ensuring that the SSA will have no questions regarding your child’s medical condition.

Working closely with your medical doctor, a Social Security advocate, and/or a Social Security attorney when completing your forms can make the process easier. Having assistance in completing your application can increase your chances of receiving benefits for your child.