Disabled children (this article just discusses children under the age of 18) are eligible to receive SSI if the Social Security Administration finds them disabled and they meet the financial requirements. Parents should apply for SSI at their local Social Security Office as soon as possible. After you apply, your child’s case will be sent to DDS in Raleigh for them to review.
Children are evaluated under a different standard than adults. Children must: “have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment (including an emotional or learning problem) which: results in marked and severe functional limitations; and can be expected to result in death; or has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months”.
If your child is denied by DDS at the initial and reconsideration level, you will have to request a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Your child will have to testify. This can be frightening for some children. In my experience, ALJs treat children very well (better than they treat some adults) and are gentle with their questioning. The questions usually involve school, friends and how their health problems stop them from doing certain things. Please reassure your child that the hearing is nothing to be frightened about.
The most important thing you can do for your child’s case is make sure they receive regular medical treatment and take their medication. The Bishop Law Firm represents children and adults at all levels of the disability process. We would be delighted to discuss your child’s SSI case with you!