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   I have an 11 year old child who has been diagnosed with Di George Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, Scoliosis, and has a history of epilepsy and heart disease.  He is currently enrolled and has been in a class for verbal autistic children called ABC with the public school district for the past 4 years.  Prior he attended a LIFE class and prior to that an Early Childhood class.    A few years back I was told he did indeed qualify for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits but my then husband made too much money.  My husband and I are now separated since September of 2001.  I work for a school and make less than $11,000 a year.  The child support I receive places us $15 above the poverty level so we cannot qualify for Food Stamps (or so I am told anyway).  Regardless that he is in 6th grade and functions at about a 2nd grade level.  Since they already determined he qualified for assistance previously, with the exception of parental income, can they now determine he does not qualify even though the income level falls well within their income boundaries?  Also I read online that I can request benefits be paid for up to 6 months while a determination is being made.  Is this valid and if so why did the caseworker not say anything about it?  We are about to lose our home because they first lost his paperwork and made us start over and now are awaiting the determination again.  
     If a personís Supplemental Security Income disability benefits are ceased due to excessive income and resources, his or her benefits will be started again without filing a new application if the personís income and resources drop back to required levels within 12 months.  According to your question, it had been more than 12 months since his benefits ceased; therefore, you had to file a new application for disability benefits for your son.
     This is a totally new application.  The decision on this case may certainly be different than the decision on his previous case.  The individuals who will be looking at his case will be different people than the people who looked at his case before.  His condition may have improved.  The medical evidence and school records will be current records, and, therefore, will necessarily be different than the records used in the first case.  Also, the laws, regulations, and court rulings that govern how the Social Security Administration decides who is disabled are constantly changing.  Therefore, a person who met the Social Security Administrationís requirements for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits a few years ago might not meet SSAís requirements today.  For example, when I started working as a Disability Determination Specialist in 1991, SSA allowed most SSI cases of children who were on Ritalin for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  At that time, pediatricians were prescribing lots of Ritalin for ADHD.   SSA allowed tons of these cases.  A lot of the kids just werenít that limited in their functioning.  By the time I left my job in December 2000, SSA very rarely allowed disability cases on the basis of only ADHD.  The difference between 1991 and 2000 was a difference in how SSA determines disability.  The way SSA determines who is disabled is constantly changing.
     Please, see the article Presumptive Disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Disability Benefits  that describes the process by which benefits can be paid for up to six months while SSA gathers the evidence it needs to make its decision on an SSI case.  You cannot request that this be done on your sonís case.  It is done solely at the discretion of SSA.   

    My son is 10 and is Autistic/Asbergers.  This is considered a disability for the purpose of Supplemental Security Income disability benefits?  We need to know if the government will assist in helping our child get into a school that has one on one help.  Does the government help a little financially?  We are on a tight budget, any ideas or resources?
     A diagnosis alone is not enough to know if your childís condition is disabling.  Whether or not his condition is disabling depends on the severity of his illness and how it affects his functioning.  Please, see the article Mental Conditions in Children Applying for SSI Disability Benefits to see how SSA evaluates mental conditions in children.
     The federal government provides for the education of special needs children by providing extra funds to public schools based on the number of special education students that the school has.  If your child is approved for SSI disability benefits, you could choose to spend your monthly check on his educational needs.  You can contact your stateís child welfare agency to see if he qualifies for any state programs.  You can contact the school that you are interested in to see if the school offers any financial aid. 

    My son is 13, in junior H.S. ready to go into 9th grade this coming September.   He has had a long history of learning disability for written English and speech therapy. Last year he was diagnosed by a psychiatrist as have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; its moderate to severe, and he is on a high dose of medicine to maintain a normal state. He also has been classified as having mild Tourettes and ADD.   We did a big test with the psychologist (private) to find out his exact areas of weakness and strengths mentally. He has had and IEP since 3rd grade and still remains in resource in the Special Educational system. He has a lot of lateness due to his condition, but he is of superior intelligence after his recent school evaluation.  But, he shows poor grades and lacks very much in doing homework again because he is struggling with tasks overall.   I was wondering if I should apply for Supplementary Security Income disability for him.   Because some doctors are private, and our insurance does not cover them.  And also, we prefer to choose whom we feel is best to put care of our son in the hands of. We plan on having him continue his education after H.S. and no matter what it will be a great struggle for him, and to hold down a job might also be a problem though we will have him try down the road when of age, but he might need to just be able to concentrate on education. Is it time I apply now?  Are there any drawbacks to receiving help or just a good benefit to him so we can provide him with every possible opportunity to help him be successful?
     Please, see the article Mental Conditions in Children Applying for SSI Disability Benefits I think the only drawback is that all children who are approved to receive disability benefits are referred to the child welfare agency in whatever state the child resides. This is partly a good thing because its leads to children receiving Medicaid and possibly other state benefits.  On the other hand, some people may not appreciate child welfareís input into their childrenís lives.

     Is a person with ADHD eligible for SSI funding?  The person is a child, how does that work?    
      Children can apply for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.  The childís parents or guardian must have below a certain level of income and resources.  Only very severe cases of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are considered disabling.  Please, see the article Mental Conditions in Children Applying for SSI Disability Benefits.

     Our son has more than one condition, and it is hard to describe all of his specific problem areas. What if there are not enough medical records to determine if he is eligible for SSI?
Most of the information on this site applies to children as well as adults. It is very important that SSA understand all of his conditions and all of his problem areas. You can add additional sheets of paper to the application for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits in order to list all of his problems areas. If there are not enough medical records to document all of his problems, SSA will schedule whatever examinations are needed to fully evaluate all of his problems. SSA will also get copies of his school records, if he is school age, to see how his condition limits his ability to function.

     My daughter has a rare medical condition. She has DiMorsier's syndrome, also known as Septo Optic Dysplasia. It is a congenital birth defect. She is completely blind in the left eye but she has pretty good vision in her right eye. The only thing it affects right now is her depth perception. She has some midline brain abnormalities, including a missing Septum Pellucidum. DiMorsier's Syndrome usually causes severe learning disability, mental retardation, and several hormonal deficiencies and imbalances. She has to get her blood tested every year for hormone levels for the rest of her life. She sees an Ophthalmologist, Neurologist, and an Endocrinologist. The reason I am writing to you, is because even though my daughter has this condition, she is only blind in one eye. She also seems to be functioning well.  She is doing very well intellectually. She's three years old. The concern with DiMorsier's syndrome is that she could get sick at any time in her life and start having severe endocrine deficiencies. I do feel that she is a "special" child and I want to get her early intervention and get her on the right track to help her as much as I can. I also want her to get Supplemental Security Income disability benefits.   
     When SSA evaluates Supplemental Security Income disability claims, it concentrates on how the personís condition currently limits his or her ability to function.  When evaluating vision impairments, SSA looks at the vision in the personís better eye.  Even if somebody is blind in one eye, the claim will be denied if the person has adequate vision in the other eye.  You state that otherwise she is functioning well.  Even though this syndrome can cause severe limitations and may cause further limitations in the future, if she is functioning fairly normally now, then SSA will not consider her to be disabled.

    We have an 11 yr. old girl who has had severe ADHD and a history of petit-mal seizures. The seizures have been stopped for about 5 years, but have left her with several learning disabilities. She has always had social developmental problems and has been developmentally delayed. She is showing signs of improvement, but as she gets older, more and more time she is spending in special education. We can't seem to get the additional help that she needs in the regular classroom and teachers just can't seem to find the time to work with her. My husband and I both have to work to pay bills. I have taken a cut in pay and have stepped down from a salaried position at my job so that I can get off of work in the evening to pick our daughter up at school to work with her on her homework. She has to have a lot of one-on-one teaching to learn. We have tried Sylvan learning center, had private tutors, and have spent all of our savings and additional resources in trying to get help for our daughter. She has taken several IQ tests and been tested by doctors and by the school. At this point, additional funds would definitely help out. Didn't know if we would be able to get SSI since we both work. Do you have any answers or recommendations? 
     SSI is a need-based program.  The parents of the child must have below a certain level of income and resources.  Call your local SSA office and let them know your monthly income as well as any other resources such as bank accounts.  Then SSA can let you know if your income and resources are too high to qualify for SSI.  Let me also suggest that you read Mental Conditions in Children Applying for SSI Disability Benefits and School Records and Supplemental Security Income Disability Benefits in the articles section of this site.

    My daughter is 2 years old; she was born Feburary 2, 2000.  She has Down Syndrome.  She had surgery for Heart tetralogy of Fallot at six months old. She now has a heart murmur. Also she has ear tubes and her right ear tube is considered extremely small.    She is mentally retarded.  I don't know what her IQ is, but she doesn't speak yet and she is almost 3 years old.  And my question was regarding being denied SSI for my daughter, what is my recourse? 
     According to Social Security regulations, children under the age of 18 who have Down syndrome are considered disabled.  In children under the age of 18, Down syndrome established by clinical and laboratory findings meets Listing 110.06.  Mosaic Down syndrome, which is a milder condition, is evaluated under a different part of the regulations.  Even if your child is disabled based on medical criteria, your child can still be denied benefits for nonmedical reasons; for example, your child can be denied benefits on the grounds that your family has too much income and resources to qualify for SSI benefits.  If your daughterís case was denied for nonmedical reasons, it should be stated in your denial letter.  You have 60 days after the denial to file an appeal.  Be sure the medical records documenting that your daughter has Down syndrome are in the file.  Your daughterís denial notice should list that medical records were used in making the initial decision.  If the 60 day time period has elapsed, file a new application and ask SSA to reopen the prior case.  Reopening the prior case will allow your daughter to be paid benefits back to the first day of the month you file the previous case.   Carefully read your daughterís denial notice to find out why SSA denied your daughter benefits. 







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