Children from birth to age 18 can be considered disabled even though they likely have never worked. Because their claim comes under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits law, their household income, assets and resources are looked at. If their family does not have significant assets, income or resources, the child’s eligibility for disability is evaluated.
In determining whether or not a child is disabled first requires that their medical condition be compared to specific defined medical levels of severity for certain listed impairments that Social Security has compiled that might afflict the children. These findings are likely based on medical findings and are often accurately evaluated by Social Security.
Even if a child does not have a medical condition that meets or equals any one of the listed impairments, the child might still qualify for SSI based on the way that their impairments affects their function. Social Security looks at Functional Domains that compares the child’s function in these six categories with the function of other children their age.
In order to be successful on a child’s SSI claim, the child needs to be receiving adequate medical care. Then, based on statements that Reimer Law Office PC LLO can obtain from the treating sources, from the parents, from teachers and from day care providers, we will hopefully have the kind of evidence that Social Security relies on to make a determination that a child is, in fact, disabled according to Social Security’s rules and regulations.
After the reconsideration of your claim, if the Social Security Administration again denies your claim, you may request a hearing. This hearing will be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and you will be able to tell your story about what is going on in your life.
Your attorney will have the opportunity to present evidence and explain to the judge why you believe that you are disabled and entitled to receive social security benefits. Also, your attorney has the right to review all of the documents in the file that the Social Security Administration has created and provide new information and evidence at the hearing.
The judge will ask you questions and will listen carefully to what you have to say about the activities and function of your child if it is reasonably related to his or her medically determined impairments. It will be important to distinguish how your child’s function differs from unimpaired children his or her age.
Further, your attorney will also have the opportunity to make arguments to the judge about how the evidence should be construed and why the judge should find that you are disabled and entitled to full SSI benefits. This step is where your child’s case has its best chance.
We will file your appeal at no charge before you hire us to handle your case. With over 68 years of combined experience, we know the best way to handle your claim.
You have 60 days to file an appeal after the Social Security Administration informs you that your claim has been denied. When your claim is denied for the first time, you request a “reconsideration” of the denial of your claim.
When a reconsideration is requested, an individual at the Social Security Administration who did not participate in making the decision to deny your initial application for benefits reviews your file. All of the evidence that was considered when the original decision was made to deny your claim and any additional evidence that has been submitted since the first denial of your claim is reviewed. Generally, most of the reconsideration decisions involve a review of your entire file without you being present and without any kind of a hearing.
When a case cannot be decided favorably just based on the medical records, it is most likely that there will be two denials and you will need to take the case to a Social Security Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). At that hearing the ALJ will listen to all of the evidence about the child’s function and properly apply the rules about how that child is functionally disabled compared to other children his or her age.
1. Acquiring and Using Information
– Learning–exploring the world with the senses
– Thinking–application or use of information
– Thinking in pictures and words
– Using language to understand and express oneself
2. Attending and Completing Tasks
– Regulating levels of alertness to initiate and maintain concentration on task at a consistent level of performance
– The physical and mental effort to identify a task, start it and complete it within an appropriate time frame
3. Interacting and Relating With Others
– Interacting–initiating and responding to exchanges with others for practical or social purpose
– Maybe done by using facial expressions, gestures, actions or words
– Relating–forming intimate relationships with family and with same age friends and sustaining them over time
– You must be able to speak intelligibly, participate in communication or turn taking, consider feelings/views of others, follow social rules for interaction/conversation and respond appropriate
4. Moving About and Manipulating Objects
– Use of gross and fine motor skills to move one’s body from one place to another and to move and manipulate things
5. Caring for Yourself
– Ability to feed oneself, dress oneself, perform personal hygiene, be safe
– Develop skills, abilities to be independent and follow rules of home, school, society
6. Health and Physical Well-Being
– How do physical/mental problems affect ability to perform activities?