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What is a "medically determinable" impairment?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

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There are 15 Comments

Is my ADHD child able to receive Social Security? If so, what do I need to provide?

There is evidence that children with ADHD can receive disability payments.

To complete a Child Disability Report on behalf of a child applying for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, you need to:

* Provide information about the child's medical conditions, medical records, education, and work history and
* Contact Social Security to complete an application for SSI benefits.

Here's how to get started :

my son had a iep since elementary because of his ability to learn as a normal child he drop out of school about 5 year ago; he's unable to fine a jobs.

Hi i have a disablity that i had since a child. i tried working but was unable to continue because the weakness got worse. i dont have enough credits for disability and my husband makes too much for SSI. can i still get Disabilty benefits

My boyfriend has a Traumatic brain injury. I am helping him apply for disability. what is needed to prove traumatic brain injury?

i have been waiting for a date for m ssi to get into court how long do i have to wait for it to go before the judge been 2 yrs now.

Here is an excerpt from a 2009 report regarding the disability determination backlog :

We found that the average claim adjudicated in 2006, when decided initially by a DDS, was concluded in 131 days, but that if a claim was adjudicated upon a request for reconsideration, that time more than doubled, to 279 days. If a claim was appealed to an ALJ, the 279-day wait almost tripled, to 811 days, or 2.2 years. A trip to the Appeals Council (the last step under SSA's control) increased the total time to 1,053 days, while a Federal Court appeal stretched the wait to just under five years: 1,720 days.

my son has recently been diagnosed with high functioning autism is he eligible for ssi / disability ? he is 11 years old.

I been in the hospital like twenty time now and my baby has been hospitalizes for almost three weeks now. she was born in 2-09-2011 and she you st had a heart surgery and youst yesterday i was back in the hospital stayed onother day youst relized today 5-1-2011. do you think i could qualified for ssi since i still got lots of appointments they told me today that she is going to need a helmet to straighten her head now. so that mean more to come what should i do i feel like working but i dont whant to leave my baby right now you think i could qualified for ssi for her?

I am a diabetic, I have always had problems with my feet to where I can get a razor blade & just cut off so much dry & hard skin from the bottom of both my feet, it has gotten so much worse in this past yrs, to where I feel like just chopping them off. I have arthritis on both my hands to where they get stuck & I have so much pain on both hands & just looking at them when that happens (when they get stuck at times) looks like there deformed. I am 55 yrs old. I also have depression issues I worry about EVERYTHING & ANYTHING then I let it get to me where I just don't wanna exist sometimes. Is there any help for a person with these problems/sickness's at my old age of 55? IF yes, where do I go & what do I do to make sure I can qualify for the help I so desperately need the FIRST time around. I don't wanna be like people that get denied nine out of 10 times on there first application submitted to the Social Security office. From what I hear from so many people & I have also read it happens to everyone that applies for either of the two SSI OR SSDI. I wouldn't wanna be one of those 9 out of 10 people that get denied on my first try & have to wait yrs. to go to court on the appeal, which can take yrs & yrs I would more than likely die before that would happen and would NEVER RECEIVE the help I so desperately need NOW. So my question is what do I do or where do I go to prevent this from happening, there has got to be HELP out there for people like myself. THANK YOU for any kind of help you can give me or pass on to me.

To qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI), there are two primary qualifications. First, you must have a sufficient work record. Second, you must have a condition which prevents you from engaging in "substantial gainful activity" (SGA).

As far as the work record, if you are disabled at age 54, you generally need at least 32 credits (eight years of work) before you became disabled.

As far as ability to work, here is an extract from relevant federal regulations :

Diabetes, for example, can result in circulatory problems which could limit the length of time a person could stand or walk and damage to his or her eyes as well, so that the person also had limited vision. What a person can still do despite an impairment, is called his or her residual functional capacity. How the residual functional capacity is assessed is discussed in more detail in § 404.1545. Unless an impairment is so severe that it is deemed to prevent you from doing substantial gainful activity (see §§ 404.1525 and 404.1526), it is this residual functional capacity that is used to determine whether you can still do your past work or, in conjunction with your age, education and work experience, any other work.

Qualifying for SSI generally requires one to meet the same disability (unable to perform SGA) criteria. Also, you must have very limited income and assets (less than $2,000/$3,000 if single/married). You also must meet residency requirements.

Beyond that we don't have much experience in evaluating disability cases. Other posts on this site or other sites may be useful. You may also want to consider using a third party (ex. legal assistance). Such assistance may come at a price (some of your future disability benefits, if successful), but may be worth it.

Bless you.

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