Parents applying for childhood SSI benefits are often confused by how the Social Security Administration evaluates the claim. The SSA looks at the child's functioning in terms of six domains. This entry deals with Caring for Yourself and is the fifth in a series discussing domains of function. In this domain, SSA considers how well someone maintains a healthy emotional and physical state, including how well she gets her physical and emotional wants and needs to be met in appropriate ways; coping with stress and changes in the environment; and whether she takes care of her own health, possessions, and living area.
In a Social Security Disability case, mental conditions are often involved. The existence of mental impairments alone will not suffice unless they meet or equals a listing or the resulting functional limitations eliminate available jobs.
Children suffering from cerebral palsy 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. If the child is not working and has "severe" impairments, 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. If the claimant 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. If not, the claimant is not disabled.