The Difficulties with Getting SSI Benefits for Children

A recent Philadelphia Inquirer article ( highlights the extreme difficulties for minors applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  First, the child is subject to strict limits on the parents' assets and income.  Second, the child must meet medical eligibility criteria based on the Listings of Severe Impairments, or alternatively "functionally meet" one of the listings based on a "whole child approach" (SSR 09-01p-08p).

Without knowing more about this particular case, a young child with paralysis to a single, upper extremity would not, on that medical condition alone, meet one of the Listings.  Thus, the claimant would need to "functionally meet" one of the listings.  It is paramount in these types of cases to document how the medical conditions impacts every aspect of the claimant's daily life.  Doctors, therapists, counselors, teachers, family, friends and neighbors are all valid and necessary sources of information.

Social Security Applications on the Rise?

This American Life recently highlighted (and lambasted?) the Social Security Disability Insurance program as a well-intended system that is taken advantage of by unemployed people looking for a handout. The statistics highlighted by this program and similar articles written on the subject omit a key fact in their analysis - the rise in applications to these programs is mainly due to a long-predicted bulge from the baby-boomer generation who are in their late 50s, and early 60s.