Social Security rules allow for parents to bring SSI claim's on behalf of their children. Where the adult disability focus on the claimant's ability to perform full time work activity, the children's rules focus on five (5) predefined functional domains. These domains are meant to evaluate how the child functions physically, mentally and socially. Think of the domains as the factors that separate a disabled child from their peers of the same age and educational level. In order to be considered legally disabled the child requires a "marked limitation" in at least two (2) of the domains OR an extreme limitation in one (1). The domains are as follows:
1) Acquiring and using information;
2) Attending and completing tasks;
3) Interacting with and relating to others;
4) Moving about and manipulating objects;
5) General Health and physical wellbeing.
Like the adult program, children's SSI has financial thresholds in addition to the standard medical requirements. As the number of dependents in a given household goes up the corresponding monthly income limit for a child's SSI claim also increases. Please see the chart at the following link for more information.
Understanding SSI - SSI for Children (ssa.gov)
Similar to adult disability claims, there are no automatically disabling diagnoses. The regulations primarily focus on the child's symptoms and the above mentioned functional domains. However, parents should be aware there are certain conditions that often rise to the level of disabling. Some common legally disabling conditions in children may be:
Failure to Thrive;
Dangerously low birth weight;
Anemia or Sickle cell disease;
Low Full Scale IQ;
Oppositional Defiant Disorder;
Autism Spectrum Disorder;
An IEP at School for any reason.
If your child receives treatment for one or more of these condition and you have noted functional limitations in one of the above mentioned functional domains then your child may be entitled to SSI benefits. Please reach out to me for a free consultation.