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Childhood SSI and Need for Test Results in Psychological Cases

     In determining whether a child qualifies for disability under the Childhood SSI regulations, the SSA decides if the child meets a listing or functionally meets a listing through deficits in any number of six domains of function. When dealing with a mental disorder, whether ADHD, autism, asperger's, intellectual disability (formerly known as mental retardation), the results of psychological testing are very important to the determination of disability. Some important factors from the regulations about testing are:

  • Reference to a "standardized psychological test" indicates the use of a psychological test measure that has appropriate validity, reliability, and norms, and is individually administered by a qualified specialist.
  • A report of test results should include both the objective data and any clinical observations.
  • The salient characteristics of a good test are: (1) Validity, i.e., the test measures what it is supposed to measure; (2) reliability, i.e., the consistency of results obtained over time with the same test and the same individual; (3) appropriate normative data, i.e., individual test scores can be compared to test data from other individuals or groups of a similar nature, representative of that population; and (4) wide scope of measurement. In considering the validity of a test result, we should note and resolve any discrepancies between formal test results and the child's customary behavior and daily activities.
  • The IQ scores in listing 112.05 reflect values from tests of general intelligence that have a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 15, e.g., the Wechsler series. IQs obtained from standardized tests that deviate from a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15 require conversion to a percentile rank so that the actual degree of limitation reflected by the IQ scores can be determined. In cases where more than one IQ is customarily derived from the test administered, e.g., where verbal, performance, and full scale IQs are provided, the lowest of these is used in conjunction with listing 112.05.
  • IQ test results must also be sufficiently current for accurate assessment under 112.05. Generally, the results of IQ tests tend to stabilize by the age of 16. 
  • Comprehensive neuropsychological examinations may be used to establish the existence and extent of compromise of brain function.

     If you need more information about a Social Security Disability/SSI, personal injury, EEOICPA, long or short-term disability, VA disability, Railroad Retirement Board 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. Our office handles claims throughout Tennessee.

 

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