What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Why Are Child SSI Cases Often Turned Down By Social Security Disability Examiners?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
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.
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Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials