How Can People With Cerebral Palsy Qualify for Social Security Disability?

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How Can People With Cerebral Palsy Qualify for Social Security Disability?

Appearing in infancy and early childhood, cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder permanently affecting muscle coordination and body movements. Due to the cerebral motor cortex in the brain developing abnormally or being damaged at birth, children cannot control muscle movements, suffer from severe tremors and often have problems with hearing, vision, speaking and swallowing. About one-third of children with cerebral palsy experience cognitive deficiencies involving reasoning and thinking or autism spectrum disorders.  

Can Anyone With Cerebral Palsy Qualify for Social Security Disability?

The Social Security Administration lists cerebral palsy in Section 11.00 (neurological disorders) of their Blue Book. Approval for SSD benefits requires physician-signed medical documentation showing the applicant with CP suffers from at least one or more of the following:

  • An IQ below 70
  • Abnormal/unpredictable behavior, such as emotional instability or destructiveness
  • Difficulty communicating due to visual, hearing and/or speech defects
  • Persistent, severe interference with standing, walking and performing fine motor skills. Interference is caused by tremors, paralysis, poor coordination/balance, sensory disturbances and involuntary movements
  • Seizures

Since individuals diagnosed with cerebral palsy nearly always suffer from at least one of the above disabilities, applicants are typically approved the first time they apply for SSD.

What Is Supplemental Security Income for Children and Adults with Cerebral Palsy?

In addition to Social Security and disability, the Social Security Administration also offers supplemental security benefits, or payments meant to meet financial needs of people with limited resources and incomes. In most cases, SSI is given to adults over 65 years old and to those who are blind and/or otherwise disabled. If someone with cerebral palsy is already receiving Social Security disability, they may also be entitled to SSI. To qualify for SSI, recipients must not have financial assets over $2000 (for couples, the amount is $3000). If a person’s cerebral palsy prevents them from earning the minimum monthly livable salary established by the SSA. they may qualify for supplemental security income benefits.

What Documents Are Needed to Apply for Cerebral Palsy SSD?

Medical evidence essential for proving an applicant is permanently disabled with cerebral palsy include:

  • Medical imaging tests such as CT scans, MRIs and cranial ultrasounds
  • Seizure reports/emergency room reports
  • Blood tests indicating abnormalities associated with CP
  • Results of speech, hearing, vision and motor skill tests
  • Results of neuropsychological IQ tests
  • Descriptions of treatments and the applicant’s response to treatments

To expedite the process of filing for Social Security disability or supplement security income benefits, schedule an appointment with an experienced disability attorney today.

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