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Qualifying neurocognitive disorders in children for SDD benefits

Living with a disability can feel just like that, disabling and debilitating. It can be even more challenging when it is not a visible physical impairment. Those living with a mental condition face daily challenges; however, the general public may not see this or fully understand this. Thus, some do not believe those suffering from a mental illness, whether acquired at birth or later in life, deserve to enjoy the same benefits as those living with a physical impairment.

This is an ongoing obstacle faced by those living with a mental disorder; however, this does not mean the Social Security Administration does not qualify these individuals for Social Security disability benefits. In order to understand whether you are in fact eligible to apply for SSD benefits, it is important to note the list of impairments.

Based on the information provided on the SSA's website, a mental disorder must be serious and persistent. With regards to neurocognitive disorders, a child between the ages of three and 18 could qualify if he or she has a significant decline in complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual-motor or social cognition.

In addition, the child must have extreme limitations in understanding, remembering and applying information, interacting with others, concentrating, persisting or maintain pace or adapting or managing oneself. If none of these are met, a child could still qualify if the disorder is serious and persistent, lasting for over a period of two years.

While children are not the only ones who suffer from a mental illness, they are a vulnerable population that deserves to obtain benefits they require to meet their basic needs. In order to determine if your child qualifies for SSD benefits, it is important to understand the application process and what can be done if you are initially denied benefits.

Source:, "112.01 Category of Impairments, Mental Disorders," Accessed August 27, 2017

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