Getting SSI for a Child With a Learning Disability
Under certain circumstances, a child with a learning disability may be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, not every child with a learning disability is eligible, so it may be difficult to discern whether or not your child qualifies. The information below can be used as a guideline to see if your child qualifies for disability benefits because of his or her learning disability.
Listing of Impairments
This year, the SSA has added “Neurodevelopmental Disorders” as a new disability in the Listing of Impairments. Learning disabilities fall under this classification and are now considered a disabling medical condition. Neurodevelopmental Disorders can be found in the Blue Book under listing 112.11. Some of the conditions that are covered under this listing include, but are not limited to ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia. Children with intellectual functional disorders (formerly mental retardation) are covered under a different listing in the Blue Book.
Requirements for Neurodevelopmental Disorders
To qualify for disability benefits with a learning disability, a child must meet the following qualifications:
- Significant difficulty learning and understanding academic skills and extremely limited in at least two of the following areas
- Understanding , remembering and applying information
- Socially interacting with other appropriately
- Concentrating on tasks and maintaining an appropriate pace
- Managing oneself in an age-appropriate manner.
Requirements for Receiving Disability Benefits
Just as with adults, children with disabilities must meet specific requirements before they can be eligible for disability benefits. The requirements for disability benefits include:
- The condition must be expected to last for at least 12 months
- The condition must cause severe limitations that interfere with day-to-day life
- The child can earn no more than $1,000 per month.
When you apply for disability benefits because of your child’s learning disability, you will be required to provide specific documentation to substantiate your claim. The documentation will need to show the learning disability and how it has affected your child’s life. It is a good idea to include copies of your child’s school records, particularly if they show a longitudinal history of the learning disability and document the level of your child’s functioning over time. You may also be asked to have your child go through a psychological consultative evaluation to determine your child’s current level of function.