Social Security benefits are not just for disabled adult workers. Children under the age of 18 years old may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The requirements to receive SSI benefits are very different for children. In order to be awarded SSI benefits, it must be shown that the child has at least two “marked” limitations or one “extreme” limitation in six areas of functioning. These six areas are:
- Acquiring and Using information
- Interacting and Relating to Others
- Attending and Completing Tasks
- Moving About and Manipulating Objects
- Caring for Self
- Health and Physical Well-Being
A “marked” limitation seriously interferes with the child’s ability to initiate, sustain, or complete independent tasks. An “extreme” limitation is a limitation that very seriously interferes with the child’s ability to initiate, sustain, or complete independent tasks. Most SSI cases involve children who suffer from ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and other diagnoses that cause behavioral issues. However, physical issues such as uncontrolled seizures, severe asthma, and serious orthopedic issues may interfere with one or more of the six areas of functioning.
As with any disability matter, it is crucial that the child maintain regular medical treatment with his or her physicians and mental health providers. It is also extremely important that all medications prescribed by a medical doctor are taken as prescribed and on a regular basis. Official school records, report cards, Individualized Evaluation Plans (IEPs), and school attendance/lateness logs can be very helpful.
Because the Social Security Administration denies many child SSI claims each year, it is crucial that you do not go at it alone. The attorneys at Banks Law will be happy to speak with you regarding your child’s SSI case and answer any questions you may have.