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Standards to Qualify Children for Social Security Disability Benefits

Grandparents often have a huge role in the lives of their grandchildren, and many grandparents often find themselves in the difficult position of raising their grandchildren. If that child has a disability, this situation can become even more difficult. Getting Social Security benefits for a child is difficult but not impossible and could help greatly in the child’s care and well-being. Let’s take a look at what the government looks for in these unique cases.

The Social Security Administration looks at six “domains” in evaluating a minor. These domains include:

  • Acquiring and using information
  • attending and completing tasks
  • interacting and relating with others
  • moving about and manipulating objects
  • caring for self
  • the health and physical well-being of a minor.

In order to qualify for Social Security benefits, a child must have “marked” limitations in two of these six “domains” or “extreme” limitations in one.

As we have discussed in previous articles about depression and how to meet social security’s benefits requirements, a “marked” limitation is one that interferes seriously with the ability to independently initiate, sustain or complete activities. An “extreme” limitation is one that interferes very seriously with the ability to independently initiate, sustain or complete activities.

What all this means is that the child in question must be severely falling behind his classmates or children his own age in the above areas to qualify. To make matters even harder, SSA will count the parents income/assets against the child, meaning the family has to be well below the poverty line to collect even if the child meets these medical requirements.

Some of the most common maladies effecting minors are not enough to meet the above standards except in the most dire circumstances. Issues like asthma and ADHD must be so severe as to hospitalize the child on a regular basis.

If the minor is deemed eligible for benefits, he will be re-evaluated at age 18 under adult guidelines. Next month, we’ll talk about the blindness and deafness requirements, a growing issue with seniors. Until then, I’m available to answer any questions you have about Social Security or Workers Compensation Law. Remember, the government and your employer have weapons that you do not so its more important that ever to have as much information as possible!