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Chicago Supplemental Security Income Lawyer

Child Functioning and Supplemental Security Income Attorney in Illinois

When a parent applies for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for their child it can be quite difficult to meet one of Social Security’s listing of impairments for a specific condition. For adults, the Social Security Administration performs an analysis of whether the individual is capable of working. Since most children under the age of 18 aren’t working, the analysis is much different for children.

How does a child functionally equal a listing?

When determining whether a child’s impairment or combination of impairments functionally equals a listing, the Social Security Administration must evaluate six different criteria. The six domains are:

  1. Acquiring and using information
  2. Attending and completing tasks
  3. Interacting and relating with others
  4. Moving about and manipulating objects
  5. Caring for yourself
  6. Health and physical well-being

A child must have a marked limitation in two of the domains or a severe limitation in one of them. In general, a marked limitation is a domain that seriously interferes with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities. 20 C.F.R. 416.926a(c)(2) gives a more specific definition of marked limitations. An extreme limitation is an impairment that very seriously interferes with those abilities. 20 C.F.R. 416.926a(c)(3) gives a more specific definition of an extreme limitation. It is not uncommon for the court to analyze IQ tests, IEPs, and other examinations to determine if a child meets some of the listings.

Individualized Education Program

What Is An Individualized Education Program (IEP)? An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is created for students receiving special education while attending public schools. They key to the program is that it is individualized. In other words, a child’s parents, school administrators, teachers, an other personnel are typically brought together to create a unique and individualized plan for the child’s education.

The actual IEP must contain certain specific criteria. Usually an IEP must contain an assessment of the child’s needs, goals, accommodations, and how he or she will reach those goals. While some IEP’s are more extensive than others, they all should focus on improving the child’s educational experience.

Besides being the cornerstone of a quality education for children with disabilities, the IEP is a pertinent part of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits process. An Administrative Law Judge will typically want to review a child’s most recent IEP if he or she is taking special education courses. The IEP in conjunction with various testing can help the judge determine whether a child meets or functionally equals a listing.

Children’s SSI cases can be quite challenging. If your child suffers from a condition that is limiting his or her ability to function in an educational setting, feel free to contact our law firm today at 312-999-0999 for more information about disability benefits.

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