The birth of a child is one of the most exciting times in a person’s life, but this excitement can quickly turn to fear when your child is born with a disability. Cerebral Palsy, one of the most common forms of disability, can leave your child’s future uncertain, with years of medical bills and impairments in both their physical and mental functioning. To cover the costs associated with all types of disability, including cerebral palsy, the government offers Social Security Disability Insurance. However, many people are unaware of how to receive these benefits.
Read on to learn how to get SSDI benefits for your child with cerebral palsy, and find out how a Social Security lawyer can help.
How Cerebral Palsy Affects Life Quality
Before we get into the process of applying for SSDI, it might be helpful to learn a little more about Cerebral Palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a nervous system disorder that can affect all of the body’s major systems. The most common symptoms of Cerebral Palsy include muscle weakness, difficulty with major life functions (like walking and talking) and occasional mental impairments depending on the severity. Unlike some disabilities, Cerebral Palsy is a lifetime condition that can impair a person’s ability to live and work as they normally would. When a person with Cerebral Palsy applies for SSDI, it is because they need the type of financial support that makes living with a disability a little easier.
Qualifying for Social Security Disability
Although all forms of Cerebral Palsy come with difficulties, the milder types will not always entitle your child to disability benefits. Due to this, it is important to examine how Social Security determines whether a condition is severe enough to be covered.
The most direct path to full disability benefits due to Cerebral Palsy is if your child has severe mobility impairments. If your child’s Cerebral Palsy impairs two or more of their limbs, or they require assistive tools such as braces or a wheelchair, they will almost always be covered by SSDI.
Some forms of Cerebral Palsy affect the mind more than the body, and in these circumstances your child must reach a certain threshold of cognitive impairment. A few of the qualifying mental factors for coverage include:
- Diagnosed emotional disorders
- IQ test results of 70 or lower
- Significant impairments related to hearing, vision or speech
If your child suffers from any of these symptoms, they have a good chance of being covered.
The Application Process and Presumptive Benefits
The application process for receiving disability benefits can often take several months, so it’s important to start as soon as possible. You will need to contact a Social Security representative and provide them with all of your child’s medical records, which will be used to determine the severity of their condition and their eligibility for benefits.
Many children born with Cerebral Palsy are diagnosed right away, both with the condition and with a prognosis for its effects. If your child has been diagnosed with severe Cerebral Palsy right after birth, Social Security often rewards presumptive benefits for immediate financial aid. These are most typically granted if it’s determined that your child will never speak or walk.
Consult with a Social Security Lawyer for More Information
Unfortunately, it is possible that your child’s disability claim will be denied the first time around. If this has happened to you, you need the type of legal advice you can only find by hiring a Social Security lawyer from the Law Offices of Dr. Bill LaTour. We are committed to helping our clients’ access the disability benefits they are entitled to, and we would be happy to handle your claim. Contact us today so we can help get your child the support that they deserve.