Each year, the month of March is set aside as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to spread awareness and education about developmental disabilities and the people who live with these conditions.
Many individuals with developmental disabilities are unable to maintain employment because of the inhibiting effects of their condition, which can limit their ability to communicate, learn, help themselves and live independently.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common types of developmental disabilities include:
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hearing Loss
- Vision Impairment
- Intellectual Disorder
- Muscular Dystrophy
These conditions are listed in the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Blue Book of impairments. If an individual meets the specific requirements for one of these listings, he or she should qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Although some common developmental disabilities, such as mosaic down syndrome, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and fragile X syndrome, do not have a listing in the SSA Blue Book, individuals may still qualify for benefits if their side effects meet the requirements for another listing.
The SSA considers an individual to be disabled and eligible for benefits if:
- He or she suffers from a disabling condition that has lasted or is expected to last at least 12 months
- He or she cannot work, including the type of work he or she did before
If your disability does not meet a listing in the Blue Book, it may be possible to get disability benefits through a residual functional capacity test. This test will allow the SSA to determine if you can perform substantial gainful activity. The SSA will award benefits if it concludes you cannot perform any type of work.
Developmentally Disabled Children
Children under the age of 18 may qualify for the needs-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program if the child is not working or making more than $1,170 a month in 2017 and has a condition that seriously limits his or her activities and is expected to last at least 12 months. The SSA will consider both the child and family's income and resources to ensure they do not exceed a set amount.
Developmentally Disabled Adult Children
When a disabled child turns 18, he or she will be reevaluated for SSI benefits based on the requirements for adults. In determining if the adult child qualifies for SSI, the SSA will only consider the adult child's income.
Adult children who were disabled before age 22 may also qualify for child's benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which is paid on the parent's record of payment into Social Security. To receive child's benefits, a parent must be deceased or receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits.
If you or a loved one is applying for disability benefits for a developmental disability, or has already been denied, a Social Security Disability benefits lawyer from Dayes Law Firm PC can help build your claim and improve your chances of recovering benefits.
Call 1-800-503-2000 for a free, no obligation consultation.