Eligibility for Disability Benefits for Children who have Cerebral Palsy

Child with cerebral palsy engaged in physical therapy

Since there is no cure for cerebral palsy (CP), parents of children with this disability try to provide them with the treatment they need to achieve a high quality of life. Unfortunately, many parents have trouble paying for treatments that would benefit their child.

Fortunately, if your child’s CP causes certain symptoms, he or she may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Eligibility Requirements for Children with CP

The SSA awards benefits to children with CP when the condition causes disorganized motor function in two limbs that causes an extreme limitation in the ability to stand after sitting down, maintain balance when standing or walking, or use the arms and upper extremities (SSA Blue Book of impairment listings 111.07).

Your child’s CP can affect two upper limbs, two lower limbs, or one limb in the upper body and one in the lower body. These limbs can include:

  • Fingers
  • Wrists
  • Shoulders
  • Hands
  • Arms
  • Legs

Standing from a Seated Position

This means that once the child sits down, he or she is unable to return to an upright posture without help from another person or by using devices, like walkers, crutches or canes.

Inability to Maintain Balance

Your child fits this criteria if he or she is unable to stay upright when standing or walking unless he or she is assisted by another person or uses assistive devices.

Inability to Use Upper Extremities

An inability to use the extremities in the upper body means the child has lost some level of function that causes a severe limitation in his or her ability to independently initiate, sustain or complete age-appropriate activities that involve fine and gross motor movements.

For instance, your child could be unable to use his or her fingers or manipulate objects. Your child could also struggle with holding, gripping, grasping, reaching or turning. Another impairment that fits the SSA’s eligibility criteria is being unable to lift, carry, push or pull.

If you are applying for benefits but your child has not reached the point where he or she should be able to walk or balance without help, the SSA will evaluate whether your child can perform age-appropriate tasks. Typically, your child must demonstrate that he or she has only achieved developmental milestones appropriate for someone less than half his or her age.

If your child meets these eligibility criteria, he or she should qualify for children’s Supplemental Security Income. Your family’s income and resources will also determine eligibility.

Contact Our Social Security Disability Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Discovering that your child has CP changes your entire outlook on the course of their life. The severe impairments caused by CP could limit their ability to participate in a variety of activities and experiences.

Fortunately, the SSA provides disability compensation to help children with this condition. Our experienced attorneys understand how valuable disability benefits can be in helping parents afford treatments that can improve the physical and cognitive functioning of a child with CP.

If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy is a result of medical negligence, Janet, Janet & Suggs is here to help you seek the compensation you need to provide the care they need. We do not charge any upfront costs and do not recover attorney’s fees unless you obtain fair compensation or a favorable jury verdict. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your rights and legal options.

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