What does Social Security look at when deciding to award disability benefits for cerebral palsy (CP)? Even with the strongest claims, many CP disability cases are initially denied. Having good legal help after a claim denial can make the difference between winning and losing much needed compensation.
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella condition for several different movement disorders. In many cases, it has also been shown to negatively impact hearing, eyesight, speech, and reasoning, and it can also cause seizures. Those with severe cerebral palsy may be able to get disability benefits from Social Security – if they qualify.
How do you qualify?
The first way is by matching a listing in the Listings of Impairments, which includes information on every condition the SSA recognizes, offers a definition for each, and contains a list of criteria that must be met. In other words, it’s kind of an instruction manual for what you need to do to get benefits for a particular condition. Simply meet the requirements in the listing, and you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits for cerebral palsy.
But what if you can’t meet those exact requirements? Fortunately, there’s a second way.
Using the Five Step Sequential Evaluation Process, you can prove to the SSA that your specific issue is just as bad as something they have already deemed eligible for benefits. You must show it has prevented you from being able to work for 12 months or longer.
However, the guidelines on how to do this are not as simple or straightforward as matching criteria in a listing. It is often harder and takes longer to win a claim using this method. Because of this, you should always try to match a listing first.
SSA Listing Requirements for Cerebral Palsy Disability Benefits
You can qualify for Social Security cerebral palsy for a number of different reasons:
- Impaired motor function in two extremities that is persistent and severe and makes it difficult for you to move around or engage in more dexterous movements.
- Impaired physical function AND one of the following impairments:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying; or
- Interacting with others; or
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
- Adapting or managing oneself
Using the Five Step Method to Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Cerebral Palsy
Don’t forget that you still have another option available for cerebral palsy even if you aren’t able to meet the requirements in the listing. Using the Five Step Method may be more complicated and confusing, but it’s definitely better than not getting the benefits that you need.
If you decide to attempt this route, the first thing you should do is find a disability lawyer that you trust, and who has had success handling cases like yours in the past. Indeed, many SSDI claims are approved on a medical-vocational basis, rather than satisfying the criteria of an SSA listing. But you will need the knowledge and experience of someone who has an in-depth understanding of this world and how the SSA operates.
Together, the two of you can focus your efforts on developing and presenting the evidence needed to win your Social Security disability benefits for cerebral palsy.
If you have questions about your SSDI claim, we have answers. Reach out to the Social Security disability attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates.
Learn even more about the claims process by reading our free, downloadable ebook, The Social Security Disability Puzzle: How to Fit the Pieces Together and Win Your Claim!