Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Filing for Disability for a Child

Very often, parents seem to make the assumption that filing for disability for a child is uniquely different than filing as an adult. In actuality, there's not much difference at all when it comes to the application and the processing aspects of the case.

Minor-age children will have a disability application filed in the SSI program just as an adult who is not insured for title II benefits (title II provides social security disability benefits) would have to file SSI disability.

And that child disability application will be processed in the same manner as an adult's claim. In other words, the claim will be taken at a social security office and then A) forwarded on to a state agency that handles disability determination for the social security administration, B) assigned to a claims specialist known as a disability examiner, and C) processed to a final conclusion (i.e. an approval or denial).

As with adult claims, a child disability claim will be determined on the basis of residual functional capacity. However, unlike an adult claim, the goal will not be to determine whether or not the claimant can return to to past work or engage in som form of other, but work, rather, to determine whether or the claimant will be functionally limited with regard to age-appropriate activities.

It is for this reason that child disability claims that involve a cognitive (e.g. autism, mental retardation), affective (anxiety), or mood disorder (depression, dysthymia) component will necessitate the gathering of not only medical records, but also school records. And in a following post, I will comment on issues that arise in the gathering of such records.

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