Everyone copes with stress in their lives, but not everyone must deal with a disabling impairment. According to a 2010 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. have a disability (Americans with Disabilities, 2010). More than half of the adults reporting an impairment indicate that it is severe, with trouble concentrating or coping with stress being one predictor of severity (Id.). The report also showed Americans with severe disabilities are less likely to be employed and more likely to experience persistent poverty (Id.).
There are two ways children under 18 can receive disability benefits. The first is if the child is disabled, they might be eligible for supplemental security income (SSI) if they are medically eligible. Children can receive SSI benefits based on both mental and physical health impairments. Children's claims are different from adults' claims. The standard is not if a child can work; instead, children's claim are based on several "domains" of functioning and development that include both physical abilities and limitation and mental abilities and limitations. As with an adult disability claim, it is important to be able to show through medical records the child's diagnoses and symptoms. If a child is successful with a disability claim and receives back pay, the government has strict rules on what that back pay can be spent on. If a child is found disabled, they are usually re-evaluated by the federal government when they turn 18 under the adult guidelines for disability.
As the parent of a deaf child, I often meet families of people with significant hearing loss. When they learn of my profession, a question I am commonly asked is whether they can receive disability benefits for their hearing loss.
So you've requested Social Security Disability payments and your application has been denied. This happens to people all across Minnesota every year, and it's important to note that this is not the end of the road. You can still appeal that decision. In fact, many applications are denied for simple reasons -- such as forgetting to fill out a certain box -- and this can be rectified quickly.
Due to the lengthy process involved in seeking Social Security benefits, many claimants will at some point attempt to return to work in either a full time or part time capacity. Social Security, in order to encourage claimants in job seeking has built in a number of rules to deal with different levels of work activity.
A prior posting on this blog explained the impact of earnings on your eligibility for Social Security benefits. To recap, a person who earns more than the SGA limit will likely be found ineligible for benefits under Social Security rules. However, impairment related work expenses (IRWE) allow a recipient or claimant for benefits to reduce their countable income.