Parents of a child suffering from a seizure disorder or epilepsy may apply for and qualify for childhood SSI benefits for the child. Childhood SSI claims are evaluated differently than adult claims for Social Security Disability or SSI. The requirements are actually more stringent. If the child is not working and has “severe” impairments, the Social Security Administration determines whether the claimant has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals a “listing.” If the child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets, medically equals or functionally equals the listings, and it has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, he is presumed to be disabled. If not, the child is not disabled under SSA’s rules. There is no further question of vocational steps as with an adult disability claim.
The Childhood Listings involving seizures or epilepsy are:
111.02 Major motor seizure disorder
A. Convulsive epilepsy. In a child with an established diagnosis of epilepsy, the occurrence of more than one major motor seizure per month despite at least three months of prescribed treatment. With:
Daytime episodes (loss of consciousness and convulsive seizures); or
- Nocturnal episodes manifesting residuals which interfere with activity during the day.
B. Convulsive epilepsy syndrome. In a child with an established diagnosis of epilepsy, the occurrence of at least one major motor seizure in the year prior to application despite at least three months of prescribed treatment. And one of the following:
IQ of 70 or less; or
- Significant interference with communication due to speech, hearing, or visual defect; or
- Significant mental disorder; or
- Where significant adverse effects of mediation interfere with major daily activities.
111.03 Nonconvulsive epilepsy. In a child with an established seizure disorder, the occurrence of more than one minor motor seizure per week, with alteration of awareness or loss of consciousness, despite at least three months of prescribed treatment.
If the Listing cannot be proven, the claim can still be won if an impairment or combination of impairments functionally equals the listings and one must assess the claimant’s functioning in terms of six domains: (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; and (6) health and physical well-being. In making this assessment, one must compare how appropriately, effectively and independently the claimant performs activities compared to the performance of other children of the same age who do not have impairments. To functionally equal the listings, the claimant’s impairment or combination of impairments must result in “marked” limitations in two domains of functioning or an “extreme” limitation in one domain.
Whether it is winning through the Listing or functionally equaling a Listing, the claimant must prove the case through supporting documentation. Commonly, medical records, medical opinions, teacher questionnaires, letters from caregivers are all used to support a Childhood SSI claim.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI matter, personal injury matter (car wreck, boating accident, slip and fall, etc.), EEOICPA claim, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611, through Facebook, or through our website. Our office handles claims throughout East Tennessee, including Knoxville, Chattanooga, Kingsport, Bristol, Johnson City, Morristown, Maryville, Rogersville, Dandridge, Tazewell, New Tazewell, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Sevierville, Gatlinburg, Loudon, Kingston, Halls, Maynardville, Crossville, Cookeville, Jamestown, Sweetwater, Lenoir City, Athens, Oak Ridge, Clinton, LaFollette, Lake City, Jacksboro, Bean Station, Cosby, Newport, White Pine, Mosheim, Greeneville, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.
- Childhood SSI Benefits for Children Suffering from Cerebral Palsy (farmerdreiser.wordpress.com)