Childhood SSI Benefits for Dysfunction of Joints

Children suffering from musculoskeletal problems may qualify for Childhood SSI benefits.  The Social Security Administration determines of the child has a condition(s) that meets or medically equals the criteria of a listing, or that functionally equals the listings.  The listing for joint dysfunction is as follows:

Major dysfunction of a joint(s): Characterized by gross anatomical deformity and chronic joint pain and stiffness with signs of limitation of motion or other abnormal motion of the affected joint(s), and findings on appropriate medically acceptable imaging of joint space narrowing, bony destruction, or ankylosis of the affected joint(s). With:

A. Involvement of one major peripheral weight-bearing joint (i.e., hip, knee, or ankle), resulting in inability to ambulate effectively;


B. Involvement of one major peripheral joint in each upper extremity (i.e., shoulder, elbow, or wrist-hand), resulting in inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively.

Inability to ambulate effectively means an extreme limitation of the ability to walk; i.e., an impairment that interferes very seriously with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities.  If the child is too young to be expected to walk independently, then consideration of function must be based on assessment of limitations in the ability to perform comparable age-appropriate activities with the lower extremities, given normal developmental expectations.  For older children, the comparison is made to other children the same age who do not have impairments.

Inability to perform fine and gross movements effectively means an extreme loss of function of both upper extremities; i.e., an impairment that interferes very seriously with the child’s ability to independently initiate, sustain, or complete activities. To use their upper extremities effectively, a child must be capable of sustaining such functions as reaching, pushing, pulling, grasping, and fingering in an age-appropriate manner to be able to carry out age-appropriate activities.

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.

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 East Tennessee.




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