SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
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 benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Developmental Delay and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1. Developmental delays are usually caused by a variety of life-long conditions categorized as developmental disabilities (DD). Developmental disabilities include Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders and cerebral palsy, all conditions also referred to as special needs.
2. Developmental delay refers to mental and physical characteristics below the level of other individuals at the same age. These impairments affect daily functioning in a variety of ways, including learning, language, mobility and coordination. Those with developmental disabilities are often less equipped to care for and economically support themselves in adulthood.
3. In 1970 the United States Congress created a law for those with developmental disabilities who were often confined to institutions, to protect the individuals and improve conditions. The current version of law requires acceptance and inclusion of those with developmental disabilities into the community and ensures better care and treatment.
4. Developmental disabilities are classified into severe, profound, moderate, and mild. Treatment and care are based around these classifications. The goal of treatment is typically to increase independence in daily activities, and to help the individual reach their full capacity in all areas of development.
5. Individuals with developmental disabilities often require some level of care for their entire lives, although this varies from person to person and is based on each individual's unique abilities and impairments.
6. Individualized care and treatment plans may include a variety of therapy techniques. Respite services are available for families who care for individuals with developmental disabilities at home. Transportation services including free bus passes or shuttles are available in many places.
7. Advocacy for developmental disabilities continues to grow. Advocates help individuals and families navigate 'the system' (including schools and social welfare programs). They also work for changes in policy and legislation, often directly with those who have developmental disabilities in an attempt to increase self-advocacy and independence for those with DD.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page