Is applying for a child disability claim different from an adult disability claim?

Filing a disability claim for a child may require other records in addition to medical records to prove the child qualifies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration (SSA) does not require proof that the child is unable to work, but rather defines disability for children as the child is unable to perform age appropriate activities and age appropriate functions. Therefore, the criteria can be different for children from that of adults.

Winning a child’s disability claim is similar to an adult disability claim in many respects.  Medical records supporting the child’s disability must be submitted showing a severe physical or mental condition exists that will last no less than twelve months.

While the physical disabilities of a child may be considered, many child disability claims revolve around mental impairments that can include:

Autism

Learning Disorders

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)

Bipolar Disorder

Anxiety Disorder

Depression

Mental Retardation

Many aspects of a child’s life can be considered when deciding if the child has a disabling condition, these may include:

School records including IQ testing, attendance records and teachers notes and recommendations

School records including grade reports, and if the child is enrolled in special education classes

The child’s interaction with family, friends, and other individuals the child comes into contact with.  Many times children with mental impairments have extreme difficulty forming productive relationships with family and friends.

You can find the full list of children’s impairments on the SSA’s website here.

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