Children’s Supplemental Security Income Benefits Moving About and Manipulating Objects

The next area that the Social Security Administration considers when evaluating whether a child is disabled is their ability in “moving about and manipulating objects.”    This domain is primarily concerned with how well a child can use his or her hands and how well he or she can walk, run, stand, etc…

When evaluating this domain of functioning, school records are important but typically medical records, occupational therapy records or physical therapy records contain the most valuable content. Often times, however, an IEP can provide insight as to any accommodations that a school might be making for a child who struggles in this area.  Commonly congenital deformities, cerebral palsy, vision problems, and asthma are evaluated under this domain of childhood disability.

In our experience, testimony from a parent and the child themselves (depending on their age) is highly relevant in this domain. What is most helpful, however, is usually an assessment from a treating doctor which analyzes how the child is restricted in their grip, ability to use their fingers, ability to walk, ability to run and in their overall coordination.  Various testing is often performed to aide a doctor or the school in considering any restrictions in this domain.

If you believe that your child has a marked (serious) deficit in their ability to move about and manipulate objects, you may want to file a disability application on their behalf. However, please note, that it is not enough to just have a marked limitation in this domain.  In fact, a second marked restriction in one of the previously identified functional domains is usually required in order to justify a finding of disabled.

Just because your child lacks a marked restriction in this domain of functioning does not mean that he or she cannot qualify for disability. Perhaps your child qualifies for disability under one of the many other regulations covering this vast area of law.   If you have questions about these regulations, it would be beneficial for you to contact an experienced attorney who practices in the field of Social Security disability.

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