The sixth and final Social Security disability domain for obtaining SSI for children involves a child’s “Health and Physical Well-Being.” See SSR 09-8p.
While school records play a major role in most of the other children’s domains, typically medical records provide the most important information in this child’s disability domain. Here, in evaluating SSI for children, Social Security looks more at physical illnesses of a disabled child rather than behavioral or intellectual concerns. In this domain, the Social Security Administration will also consider the need for medications and the frequency of various therapies (including surgeries, chemotherapy, nebulizer treatments, etc…). Common medical conditions that are analyzed in this childhood disability domain – at the hearing level- include asthma, diabetes, and various gastro-intestinal problems. At the lower levels of Social Security, SSI for children is often granted when a child suffers from various cancers, cerebral palsy, and/or serious heart conditions.
Not only can many of the conditions discussed above pose a marked disability in this domain, but they often present serious problems in the other children’s Social Security domains discussed in the previously posted childhood disability blogs on our website. For example, a child with asthma may have problems that render him/her unable to complete tasks in a timely manner due to fatigue, shortness of breath, or the need to frequently administer medication. See Blog on Attending and Completing Tasks. Most commonly, however, children’s disability is granted through utilizing the health and well-being domain when the disabled child also has a second medical condition that is more closely associated with one of the other five children’s disability domains previously discussed. Remember, two of the six child’s disability domains must be seriously impacted in order to obtain Social Security for children.
If you believe that your child has a marked (serious) deficit or disability in their overall health and physical well-being, you should file a disability application on their behalf. However, please note, that it is not enough to just have a marked limitation in this domain. In fact, a second marked restriction in one of the previously identified functional domains is usually required in order to obtain Social Security for children. But, just because your child lacks a marked disability in this domain of functioning, does not mean that he or she cannot qualify for children’s disability. Perhaps you can obtain SSI for your child under one of the many other regulations covering this vast area of law. If you have questions about these regulations or if you would like help completing a disability application or a disability appeal; it would be beneficial for you to contact an experienced attorney who practices in the field of SSI for children.