Childhood SSI Benefits for Children With Growth Impairments

     Children suffering from a growth impairment may be eligible for Childhood SSI benefits.  The growth impairment may be disabling itself or may be the result of another disease, condition, or injury.  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 the criteria of a listing, or that functionally equals the listings.  If the claimant 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 claimant is not disabled.   

A. Impairment of growth may be disabling in itself or it may be an indicator of the severity of the impairment due to a specific disease process. Determinations of growth impairment should be based upon the comparison of current height with at least three previous determinations, including length at birth, if available. Heights (or lengths) should be plotted on a standard growth chart, such as derived from the National Center for Health Statistics: NCHS Growth Charts. Height should be measured without shoes. Body weight corresponding to the ages represented by the heights should be furnished. The adult heights of the child’s natural parents and the heights and ages of siblings should also be furnished. This will provide a basis upon which to identify those children whose short stature represents a familial characteristic rather than a result of disease. This is particularly true for adjudication under 100.02B.

B. Bone age determinations should include a full descriptive report of medically acceptable imaging  specifically obtained to determine bone age and must cite the standardization method used. Where appropriate medically acceptable imaging must be obtained currently as a basis for adjudication under 100.03, views or scans of the left hand and wrist should be ordered. In addition, appropriate medically acceptable imaging of the knee and ankle should be obtained when cessation of growth is being evaluated in an older child at, or past, puberty.  Medically acceptable imaging includes, but is not limited to, x-ray imaging, computerized axial tomography (CAT scan) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), with or without contrast material, myelography, and radionuclear bone scans. “Appropriate” means that the technique used is the proper one to support the evaluation and diagnosis of the impairment.

C. The criteria in this section are applicable until closure of the major epiphyses. The cessation of significant increase in height at that point would prevent the application of these criteria.

100.01 Category of Impairments, Growth

100.02 Growth impairment, considered to be related to an additional specific medically determinable impairment, and one of the following:

A. Fall of greater than 15 percentiles in height which is sustained; or

B. Fall to, or persistence of, height below the third percentile.

100.03 Growth impairment. With:

A. Fall of greater than 25 percentiles in height which is sustained; and

B. Bone age greater than two standard deviations (2 SD) below the mean for chronological age (see 100.00B).

     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.

     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, Railroad Retirement Board 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, ChattanoogaKingsport, 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, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.


About farmerdreiser

Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser provide comprehensive representation to injured victims throughout eastern Tennessee in personal injury, Social Security disability, and workers' compensation cases.
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