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In determining disability in children’s cases, social security first looks at whether the child is engaged in substantial gainful activity. If the answer is “yes”, the child is found to be not disabled.
Next, social security looks at whether or not the child has a medically determinable impairment, or combination of impairments, that meets or medically equals one of social security’s impairments. These listings are set forth in social security’s rules and regulations.
If the answer is “no”, then social security looks at whether the child’s impairments are “functionally equivalent” to one of the listings. To determine this, social security will decide whether or not the child is “markedly” limited in at least two of six broad domains of functioning, or “extremely” limited in at least one of the six domains. These six domains are intended to encompass all of a child’s possible activities. They 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, and
6) Health and physical well-being.
Examples of moving about include:
Examples of manipulating objects include:
Both physical and mental impairments can impact this domain. Some examples are:
A child with a benign brain tumor may have difficulty with balance, A child with rheumatoid arthritis may have difficulty writing, A child with developmental disorder may be clumsy or have slow eye-hand coordination.
There are cases where an impairment that causes limitations in this domain could also limit another domain, such as Health and Physical Well-being. Considering an impairments affects across multiple domains is not considered double weighting.
Some examples of limitations in the domain of moving about and manipulating objects are:
See Social Security Ruling (SSR) 09-06p
The rules for determining childhood disability can be tricky for a lay person. It is often helpful to consult an experienced attorney regarding your childhood disability case
This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.
When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.