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SSDI benefits for children with intellectual disability

For many people in Ohio, disabilities are caused by injuries or illnesses, afflicting primarily adults. On occasion, however, conditions that manifest themselves in childhood can be the basis for an award of disability benefits. One such condition is an “intellectual disability,” formerly called mental retardation. In this post, we will review the fundamentals of Social Security Disability benefits for this condition.

The general rule states that the child must suffer from “significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive functioning.” The required level of severity is met if one of six criteria is satisfied.

The list of criteria includes: gross or fine motor development no higher than children who are ½ of the applicant’s chronological age, mental incapacity shown by a dependence on others, an IQ of 59 or lower, an IQ of 60 to 70 together with another physical or mental impairment that significantly restricts the child’s ability to function, for older infants and toddlers – ages 1 to 3 – an IQ of 60 to 70 with functioning limited to that of a child two-thirds of the applicant’s chronological age and functioning at the level no higher than a child who is two-thirds the age of the applicant with a physical or mental condition that imposes an additional and significant limitation of function.

The requirements for obtaining SSDI benefits for a child are very complicated. Anyone contemplating making a claim for such benefits may wish to consider consulting an attorney who specializes in SSDI cases. A consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer can provide an explanation of the various criteria, an assessment of which criteria apply and help assembling and presenting the necessary information.

Source: Social Security Administration, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, 112.05 Intellectual Disability,” accessed on July 30, 2016

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