Yes, a child that is suffering from severe hearing loss may qualify for Childhood SSI benefits. The Social Security Administration evaluated childhood SSI claims 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 SSA 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 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.
Disability benefits would be awarded if the child or her representative can show:
102.10 Hearing loss not treated with cochlear implantation.
A. For children from birth to the attainment of age 5, an average air conduction hearing threshold of 50 decibels or greater in the better ear (see 102.00B2).
B . For children from age 5 to the attainment of age 18:
1. An average air conduction hearing threshold of 70 decibels or greater in the better ear and an average bone conduction hearing threshold of 40 decibels or greater in the better ear (see 102.00B2f); or
2. A word recognition score of 40 percent or less in the better ear determined using a standardized list of phonetically balanced monosyllabic words (see 102.00B2f); or
3. An average air conduction hearing threshold of 50 decibels or greater in the better ear and a marked limitation in speech or language (see 102.00B2f and 102.00B5).
102.11 Hearing loss treated with cochlear implantation.
A. Consider under a disability until the attainment of age 5 or for 1 year after initial implantation, whichever is later.
B. Upon the attainment of age 5 or 1 year after initial implantation, whichever is later, a word recognition score of 60 percent or less determined using the HINT or the HINT-C (see 102.00B3b).
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, Wartburg, Sunbright, Pigeon Forge, and Deer Lodge.
- Childhood SSI and the Domain of Health and Physical Well-Being (farmerdreiser.wordpress.com)
- What is a cochlear implant? What does it sound like? (thecfydiaries.wordpress.com)
- John Dreiser to Speak on Social Security Disability in Knoxville, Tennessee (farmerdreiser.wordpress.com)