Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

Why Are Child SSI Cases Often Turned Down By Social Security Disability Examiners?

From my experience as a disability examiner, I found that many children have cases that do not meet the criteria needed to establish a severe impairment. In some cases, it may be because of an overuse of some diagnoses for children.

For example, so many children are given a diagnosis of ADHD these days and I am sure many of these children do not meet or equal any of the child mental impairment listings (this is more likely if the child was given their ADHD or ADD diagnosis by an internist and the child was never given diagnostic testing).

However, having said that, there are certainly many valid child disability claims, and many of these claims are either improperly denied by the social security administration, or are denied for lack of evidence. Which brings us to the next point.

Another reason children receive medical denials is because they do not have enough objective medical information to support the severity of their condition. In some cases, children have a severe impairment but their symptoms are controlled with medication.

Therefore, these children have no significant limitations to their residual functional capacity as long as they are compliant with medication and, thus, their disability claim is denied.

Children who have asthma or ADHD who are compliant with the medication often do not meet the severity of impairment requirements while they are on their medication. Social Security is more concerned with functional capacity than with having a specific impairment.

This is true in both child and adult disability claims. If a child takes their medication and their functional capacity improves to the point that they are able to function normally, Social Security is going to deny their claim based upon the fact that their condition is controlled by medication.

Many SSI children’s claims are based upon learning disorders, and medical evidence (i.e. psychological testing, school performance) must support the severity of their allegation of disability. Often, SSI child disability claims have scant objective medical evidence and Social Security must use consultative examinations performed by independent doctors to gather enough information for a medical decision.

Truthfully, though, very few consultative examinations result in a child or adult being approved for disability benefits, unless the child has a condition that is easily discerned through psychological testing or various other forms of non-invasive medical testing.

Social Security has more lenient standards of severity for all children’s impairment listings, so it is not that they are harder on children’s disability claims.

Note: Many children who receive SSI disability benefits and are awarded based on the children’s impairment listing criteria will lose their benefits during their age eighteen redetermination review, because their disability is then evaluated under adult impairment listing criteria.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria