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Qualifying Psychological Conditions for SSD

If you or a child in your custody suffers from a severe psychological condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits (SSD) from the federal government. Both adults and children are eligible to apply, but different factors are used to determine whether you qualify for payments.

Qualifying conditions for children

Children must have a marked emotional disability, meaning that it can't be explained by chronological age or developmental stage. The Social Security Administration reviews how the child's disability affect his or her motor functioning, cognitive processing, communication skills, social skills, persistence of the disorder and its effect on the child's ability to concentrate. The psychological conditions in childhood that are most often approved for disability benefits include the following:

  • Organic mental disorders
  • Schizophrenic, delusional and related psychotic disorders
  • Major mood disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Eating, somatoform and tic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance dependence disorders
  • Autism and Pervasive Development Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Developmental disorders of infant from birth to 12 months

Qualifying conditions for adults

An adult applying for SSD needs to show that the disability impedes his or her ability to work and is expected to last for 12 months or longer. All SSD applications must be accompanied by medical justification. A list of acceptable supporting medical evidence for both adults and children can be found at the SSA’s disability page. The list of adult psychological disorders that are most often approved for disability payments is identical to the list for children, with the exception of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and infantile developmental disorders.

Even when you spend countless hours ensuring that your SSD application is complete, it is common for it to be initially denied. It often takes one or more appeals in order to secure the benefits you or your child need to survive. Stipe, Harper, Laizure, Uselton, Belote, Maxcey & Thetford employs experienced personal injury attorneys that are available to help you submit an appeal if necessary.

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