child with disability benefits

Are there Social Security Disability Benefits for Children?

When a disability prevents an adult from being able to work full-time or at all, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a lifesaver. But what about children with disabilities – are they able to receive SSD as well?

Children who are 18 or younger (or 19-22 if attending school) may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is for children who are either blind or disabled. To be considered as disabled, the child must have a severe physical impairment, a severe mental impairment, or both. Additionally, such impairment(s) must last at least one year and must ultimately result in severe functional limitations. Under these requirements, a child can be considered disabled from birth.

List of Impairments and Domains

In order for a child to qualify for SSD benefits, he or she must meet the requirements of the condition in question. The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of specific impairments for each condition. However, these specific requirements may prove difficult to meet. Luckily, there is another way in which children may qualify. 

Under this other method of qualification, the SSA evaluates a child’s six domains of functioning. These domains include the following:

  1. Acquiring and using information;
  2. Attending and completing tasks;
  3. Interacting and relating to others;
  4. Moving around and manipulating objects;
  5. Self-care; and
  6. Health and physical wellbeing.  

These domains can be examined through all records (medical and school), as well as statements that have been made by a child’s instructors. In order to qualify for benefits, a child need not suffer from impairments within all six domains. Rather, the SSA must find that the child has either two marked impairments or one extreme impairment in order to qualify. 

Marked Limitations vs. Extreme Impairments

A marked limitation is something that seriously interferes with the child’s ability for functioning normally, while an extreme impairment seriously limits the child. 

When you are filing for SSI for your child due to a mental disability (e.g. Autism), it’s extremely important to prove that your child is also actively seeking monthly treatment with either a psychologist or psychiatrist. 

Simply having a disability/impairment does not automatically qualify a child for SSI. Rather the impairment must be serious enough that it interferes in numerous parts of the child’s life. 

For these reasons it’s always in your child’s best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced SSD attorney who can help to assist you with your case. 

The Las Vegas SSD Attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Can Help

If your child is struggling with a disability or impairment, it can result in a lot of additional expenses. You may have no clue where to even start. Fortunately, the attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC can help. We understand the impact that a disability can have on your child’s physical and emotional abilities as well as you and your family’s financial health. That’s why it’s our mission to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!