A child may qualify for Childhood SSI disability benefits due to Sickle Cell Anemia or Sickle Cell Disease. Childhood SSI claims are evaluated differently than adult claims for Social Security Disability or SSI. The requirements are actually more stringent. If the child is not working and has “severe” impairments, the Social Security Administration determines whether the child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or equals the criteria of a listing, or that functionally equals the listings. If the child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets, medically equals or functionally equals the listings, and it has lasted or is expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months, he is presumed to be disabled.
The Childhood Listing for Sickle Cell Disease reads as follows:
107.05 Sickle cell disease. With:
A. Recent, recurrent severe vaso-occlusive crises (musculoskeletal, vertebral, abdominal); or
B. A major visceral complication in the 12 months prior to application; or
C. A hyperhemolytic or aplastic crisis within 12 months prior to application; or
D. Chronic, severe anemia with persistence of hematocrit of 26 percent or less; or
E. Congestive heart failure, cerebrovascular damage, or emotional disorder as described under the criteria in 104.02, 111.00ff, or 112.00ff.
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.
Whether it is winning through the Listing or functionally equaling a Listing, the claimant must prove the case through supporting documentation. Commonly, medical records, medical opinions, teacher questionnaires, letters from caregivers are all used to support a Childhood SSI claim.
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.