The fifth area that the Social Security Administration considers when evaluating SSI for children is their ability to care for themselves. See SSR 09-7p. Generally speaking, this domain is primarily concerned with how well a child can cope with life circumstances and/or get their needs met (both physically and emotionally).
When evaluating this children’s SSI/disability domain of functioning, school records are very important as IEP/ETR reports often times provide in-depth analysis as to accommodations that may be needed in order help your child deal with his or her emotional disabilities. Typically therapy or counseling records are another form of evidence that provide valuable information when trying to prove a marked deficit or disability in this childhood functional domain. Some of the most important information can also be obtained through assessments that your attorney may provide for a treating therapist or a teacher to complete. Commonly ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder, and depressive and anxiety disorders are evaluated under this domain of children’s SSI.
If you believe that your child has a marked (serious) disability in their ability to care for themselves, you may want to file a disability application on their behalf. However, please note, that it is not enough to just have a marked disability in this domain. In fact, a second marked restriction in one of the previously identified functional domains is usually required in order to justify a finding that a child is disabled under the Social Security Act.
Please be advised that if your child lacks a marked disability in this domain of functioning, it does not mean that he or she cannot qualify for childhood Social Security disability. Perhaps your child qualifies for disability 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 an application, it would be beneficial for you to contact an experienced attorney who practices in the field of Social Security disability.