Children suffering from cystic fibrosis may be eligible for Childhood SSI benefits. Childhood SSI claims are evaluated differently than adult claims for Social Security Disability or SSI. The requirements are actually more stringent. The Social Security Administration determines whether the claimant has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the criteria of a listing, or that functionally equals the listings. To qualify for childhood SSI benefits due to cystic fibrosis, the following must be shown:
- An FEV1 equal to or less than the appropriate value specified in table III correspond to the child's height, without shoes; or
- For children in whom pulmonary function testing cannot be performed, the presence of two of the following:
- History of dyspnea on exertion or accumulation of secretions as manifested by repetitive coughing or cyanosis; or
- Persistent bilateral rales and rhonchi or substantial reduction of breath sounds related to mucous plugging of the trachea or bronchi; or
- Appropriate medically acceptable imaging evidence of extensive disease, such as thickening of the proximal bronchial airways or persistence of bilateral peribronchial infiltrates; or
- Persistent pulmonary infection accompanied by superimposed, recurrent, symptomatic episodes of increased bacterial infection occurring at least once every 6 months and requiring intravenous or nebulization antimicrobial treatment; or
- Episodes of bronchitis or pneumonia or hemoptysis (more than blood-streaked sputum) or respiratory failure, requiring physician intervention, occurring at least once every 2 months or at least six times a year. Or
- Growth impairment as described under the regulations.
If the Listing cannot be proven, the claim can still be won if an impairment or combination of impairments functionally equals the listings and one must assess the claimant's functioning 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. In making this assessment, one must compare how appropriately, effectively and independently the claimant performs activities compared to the performance of other children of the same age who do not have impairments. To functionally equal the listings, the claimant's impairment or combination of impairments must result in "marked" limitations in two domains of functioning or an "extreme" limitation in one domain.
If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, or a workers compensation matter, please contact the Law Offices of Tony Farmer and John Dreiser for a free case evaluation. We can be reached at (865) 584-1211 or (800) 806-4611 or through our website.