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October 30, 2012

SSI Benefits for Children With Learning Disabilities

Indiana children with learning disabilities may be entitled to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  A significant portion of my law practice is devoted to helping children and their families receive Social Security disability benefits.  My staff and I take great pride in being able to explain the application and appeals process to parents of disabled children, and we make sure that they are fully prepared when it is time to appear at a hearing before a Social Security Administrative Law Judge.  I have found that some other disability attorneys simply do not handle children’s cases, or they are unfamiliar with what it takes to win these claims.  Some parts of children’s cases are the same as adult cases; for example, the appeals process has the same steps for adults and for children.  However, other elements of children’s claims are quite different from adult claims, especially when it comes to showing how the claimant’s impairments are severe enough to be disabling under Social Security’s rules.  Knowing what the Social Security Administration (SSA) is looking for in children’s cases can be the key to a successful outcome. In my experience as a disability attorney representing children and their families, I find it especially beneficial to submit certain types documentation of a child’s disabilities to the SSA.  These records can include, but are not limited to: Medical records from treating physicians, especially specialists, who treat the child for any physical or mental impairments. Written statements from treating physicians concerning the severity of the child’s disabling condition Report cards IQ tests Individualized Education Program (IEP)  or 504 Plans developed at the child’s school Written statements from teachers concerning the child’s academic progress and behavior Behavior reports, written progress reports, and other written correspondence from the child’s teacher For each of my clients, I request … Continued

Filed under: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) || Tagged under:
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September 5, 2012

What Happens To The Money In Children’s SSI Cases?

I represent many families with children who have disabilities at the hearings level in Indiana.  I believe I handle more children’s cases than many of my counterparts.  In fact, some attorneys tell me they simply will not take children’s disability claims at all.  Children’s disabilities can vary greatly, and the mental and physical problems caused by these health condition(s) can be devastating.  I often sit at the hearing and wonder, “When my client is awarded benefits, who is going to manage the money, and how will the money be used?” In children’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cases it is important to first understand Social Security’s income and resource restrictions.  If a family makes too much money, or if the family’s assets such as its vehicles, house, or bank accounts are worth too much, that family probably will not qualify for SSI benefits.  A family that does qualify for SSI is most likely struggling quite a bit to pay for for medical expenses, rent, food, and clothing.  Once a child is awarded SSI benefits, the family is eager to find out what types of expenses can be paid with SSI benefits, and who will be responsible for spending the money.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) has guidelines as to how those monies should be spent and who will do the spending. First, most minor children are required to have a representative payee who will manage their SSI payments.  The representative payee is required to: Use the payments to meet the needs of the beneficiary (i.e., the child) Save any money left over Report any changes Keep good records Help the beneficiary get medical treatment Notify SSA of changes in payee’s circumstances Complete accounting reports regarding the use of funds Return any monies beneficiary is not entitled to Now the big question … Continued

Filed under: Supplemental Security Income (SSI) || Tagged under:
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June 22, 2011

Social Security Disability Benefits for Aspergers Syndrome

Indiana disability lawyer Scott D. Lewis has helped individuals win Social Security disability claims involving Aspergers Syndrome when they found themselves initially denied.  Many Indiana residents and their families are shocked when they find themselves with a notice of denial when they know this type of impairment can create a huge impact in some areas of functioning. Most of the individuals Mr. Lewis sees with Aspergers Syndrome are children and while there are many symptoms associated with Aspergers Syndrome some of the more common symptoms include: Difficulties with social interaction Repetitive behaviors and problems accepting changes in routines Hypersensitivity to textures, tastes, and sounds. Avoidance eye contact Extreme focus on one area of interest The above symptoms may vary from individual to individual and can have varying degrees of severity.  It is important to note,  an individual trained in the appropriate medical field can usually better assist in deciding what symptoms are generally attributed to Aspergers Syndrome. Indianapolis disability attorney Scott Lewis has talked with families who have an individual with Asperger’s Syndrome and understands the effects it may have on academic performance, social interaction, and the ability to perform work like activity.  It is important to remember the Social Security Administration (SSA) does recognize Aspergers Syndrome as a disabling condition.  It may be necessary to appeal your denied Indiana Social security disability claim in order to get the benefits granted that you deserve.

Filed under: Qualifying Disabilities and Impairments || Tagged under:
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May 4, 2011

Can My Kids Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

You may be surprised how often Indianapolis Social Security lawyer Scott Lewis gets asked the above question.  The truth is, there are specific guidelines set forth by the Social Security Administration (SSA) just for children.  The Social Security Administration does provide payments through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for disabled children. On many occasions, Indiana Social Security disability attorney Scott Lewis finds himself discussing the “ins and outs” of the SSI program as it pertains to children with his potential and current clients.  One of the first hurdles many families may encounter when trying to obtain Indiana Social security disability benefits for their child is the question of income and resources.  If the child or a certain family member’s income and resources are above the limit set forth by the SSA, it may not matter how disabled the child is.  The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is what may be termed a “needs” based program.  In other words, if the SSA determines you don’t need it, you don’t get it.  So what happens if your child and family income and resources are below the limit?  At that point, the Social Security Administration will determine if your child has a qualifying disabling condition. When it comes to a child, what does the Social Security Administration consider a disabling condition?  Indiana residents may want to take a look at Social Security’s “Listing of Impairments.”  This is a guideline assembled to outline certain disabling conditions.  It should be noted there is a section that is focused solely on child disabilities.  If your child does not precisely meet one of these listings there are still other ways to win your Indiana Social Security disability appeal. In cases involving children, the Social Security Administration will look at several domains in determining if a child is disabled … Continued

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August 10, 2010

Social Security Disability Benefits for Indiana Children With ADHD and ADD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition in which attention problems exist simultaneously with hyperactivity. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is in the Child Listings Section (Part B) of the Listing of Impairments for the Social Security Administration. >Section 112.11 is the specific section for ADHD. It states that two main requirements must be satisfied. The first is that medical findings must document all three of the following: 1) Marked inattention 2) Marked impulsiveness 3) Marked hyperactivity The second is that for children ages 1 to 3 they must meet one of the age appropriate criteria in paragraph B1 of section 112.02. Also for children ages 3 to 18 they must meet two of the age appropriate criteria in paragraph B2 of section section 112.02 of the Child Listings Section (Part B) of the Listing of Impairments. Some symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may include being easily distracted, forgetting things, not listening when spoken to, and/or becoming easily confused. There are three main known causes of ADHD. The first one is genetics. Studies have indicated that genetics are a factor in 75% of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder cases. The second cause is Environmental. It has been suggested that about 9% to 20% of ADHD cases can be traced back to alcohol and tobacco abuse during pregnancy. The third cause for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is Social. The World Health Organization says that ADHD might be caused by family dysfunction or inadequate education services. Attorney Scott D. Lewis has dealt with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) clients in his experience in Social Security Disability law. ADHD may affect a child or adult’s performance at work or school. ADHD may prevent an individual from focusing on the task at hand, and they may struggle getting everyday tasks accomplished. Indiana Attorney Scott … Continued

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