3 Steps in Evaluating a Child’s Disability Claim

An individual under the age of 18 may be considered disabled if he or she has a medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments that causes marked and severe limitations in the ability to function, which can be expected to cause death or can be expected to last for 12 continuous months or more. 

There are 3 basic steps in evaluating a child’s disability claim:

Step 1: Is the child working?

If the child is working and earning substantial gainful activity, he or she will be found not disabled. If the child is earning $1,200 gross income per month or more in 2019 Social Security presumes the child is not disabled.  Attorneys at Martone Law Firm can help identify whether there is any legal reason why the income counted should be reduced.

Step 2: What are the severe impairments?

The child’s medically determinable physical or mental impairment or combination of impairments must be severe enough to cause more than minimum functional limitations and meet the 12-month duration requirement.  Attorneys at Martone Law Firm can help identify the necessary information needed to prove the severity of your medically determinable impairments. 

Step 3: Do any of the impairments meet or equal a listing?

There are listings for children’s impairments separate from the adult listings.    If the criteria are in a listing is met or equaled.  If a listing is not met, Social Security must evaluate whether a listing is equaled by determining the child’s ability to function in terms of six domains: (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.  A child is found disabled if he or she has “marked” limitations in two domains, or an “extreme” limitation in one domain. 

Attorneys at Martone Law Firm can help you identify and gather the information needed to support the necessary findings to show the child meets or equals a listing.