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Disability for Children

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What are the Chances of Being Approved for a Child who is Filing for Disability?

The social security administration releases information on the number of disability claim approvals at the various levels of the system (disability application, reconsideration appeal, and disability hearing) annually. And these are broken down by state. Over the last 14 years, though there has a small amount of deviation, those numbers have remained very consistent. Today, as was the case then, about 30-35 percent of claims will be approved following the filing of a disability application. And only about 13-15 percent of first appeals, or requests for reconsideration, will be approved.

At the social security hearing level, of course, the outcomes become much more favorable and a claimant who goes it alone can generally expect to have a forty percent chance of being approved while a person who is represented by a disability attorney or disability representative can generally expect to have a sixty percent chance of being approved for disability.

As to qualifying for disability as a child, I am not sure that the social security administration publishes specific statistics. However, speaking as a former disability examiner for DDS, or disability determination services, I can realistically state that the chances of being approved as a child usually involved significantly lower odds. This was the case at both of the first two levels (application and reconsideration).

Speaking also as someone who has been involved in the representation of disability claimants, I can effectively state that, at disability hearings as well, children who are filing for disability will have more difficulty when they (actually, their parents who are applying for disability on their behalf) are attempting to qualify for disability benefits under SSI -- as an aside, minor-age children do not have applications taken in the social security disability program, but, rather, the SSI program.

Note: When a disability examiner at disability determination services works to process an SSI claim involving a child, their evidence gathering activity will focus on both A) medical records and B) school records.

Medical evidence is typically gathered for all claims because even if the child applicant alleges a condition that results in learning-related difficulties (for example, ADHD), the condition will still need a formal diagnosis by a qualified medical provider (which is typically a licensed physician, whether that physician is a practicing medical doctor or a psychiatrist--though records will also be obtained from psychologists, counselors, and a child's teachers). I

If the child is alleging an impairment that would not seem to imply academic difficulty, such as asthma or epilepsy (seizures), school records may still be gathered because the basis for making an approval on a child disability claim has to do with whether or not the child is on pace with their peers in terms of being able to engage in age-appropriate activities, and this typically involves school performance unless the child is an infant or toddler, in which the sole focus of evidence gathering might be records from hospitals, clinics, family physicians, and pediatricians.

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

Related pages:

How do you apply for disability for your child or your children?
Filing for Disability - Blind in one eye and a Learning Disability
How are children eligible to receive disability benefits?
On disability for cerebral palsy, will I lose benefits if I marry?
Eligibility for Social Security Disability Children Benefits
What are the Chances of Being Approved for a Child who is Filing for Disability?
Why are Disability Cases Involving Children More Likely to be Denied?
How to apply for social security disability SSI benefits for children

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