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Supplemental Security Income Disability
 
The Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. This program is administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under this program. Supplemental Security Income Disability pays benefits to you and certain members of your family if you are insured meaning that you worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes.

If you apply for Supplemental Security Income disability benefits for your school-age child, SSA will want all of your child’s records including achievement tests, intelligence testing, records of speech therapy, grades, attendance records, special education records, and any other records that the school has on your child. When you apply for disability benefits, you will sign a release form for SSA to send to your child’s school to obtain copies of your child’s records.

If your child has a learning problem, SSA may send your child for additional testing at SSA’s expense even if your child’s school records contain intelligence testing. For children seven years and older, SSA will generally want records performed in the last two years. If your child’s school performed intelligence testing using a different test, SSA will want new testing. SSA requires testing performed by a psychologist. Psychologists include any one with one of the following titles; school psychologist, Psy.D., psychologist, Ph.D., psychologist, Ed.D., psychologist. All of these persons must be licensed to practice in whatever state they practice in. If your child’s school records include testing performed by a school psychometrist or other person, SSA will want new testing. If there is evidence that your child did not cooperate fully with the school testing, SSA will want a new test.

Conditions that are severe enough to qualify for disability benefits will impact your child’s functioning at school in some way. Maybe your child has to use a wheelchair to get around. Maybe your child has to be in special classes for the learning disabled or severely emotionally disturbed. Maybe your child’s condition causes frequent absenteeism. Maybe your child has to take medication at school. In one way or another, disabling conditions will impact your child’s function at school. If your child’s school is unaware of your child’s condition, then your child’s condition is not likely to be severe enough for your child to qualify for disability benefits. Also, just because your child is in special education classes in school does not necessarily mean that SSA will decide that your child is disabled.
 
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