Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can a child receive disability payments from social security for ADD or a learning disability?

I've said it many times. Anyone can potentially receive disability benefits from the social security administration under either the title II (social security disability) or title 16 (SSI disability, a.k.a. supplemental security income) disability program and this can be done for practically any condition of a physical or mental nature.

Why? Because the way the social security system evaluates disability claims has far less to do with the name of an impairment than the functional restrictions and limitations that actually result from the condition, and how those limitations (known as residual functional capacity) either A) in the case of an adult impair the ability to work and earn a substantial and gainful income or B) in the case of a child impair the ability to engage in age-appropriate activities (school).

This is why for an adult disability claim, it is important to provide a detailed past work history, and for a child disability claim it is very important to not only obtain school records (including IQ and achievement testing) but also a completed teacher's questionaire. However, for either a child or adult claim, medical records that substantiate functional limitations are paramount.

Unfortunately, many treating physicians, or most I should say, do not make substantial indications in their records as to degree of limitation. And this is why medical source statements or RFC forms can be invaluable toward the goal of winning a claim, particularly at the disability hearing level, where the adjudicator (a federal administrative law judge) is much more likely to give proper attention to the cited opinion of a treating physician (at the lower levels--disability application and disability reconsideration--examiners tend to "blow off" treating physician statements).

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Applying for Disability for a Child
Why Most SS Disability Claims are Denied
What does a Disability Lawyer Charge if the Disability Case is Lost?
Once you are approved for SSD are minor children automatically approved for SSI?
Getting Records for a Child SSI Disability Claim
How does Social Security Disability use your Work History?

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