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Keefe Disability Law
Social Security Disability & Supplemental Security Income
Toll Free 888-904-6847
Call 508-283-5500
Fax 508-309-6954

Neurological Conditions That Can Qualify a Child for Social Security Disability

If your child has a serious neurological condition there is a chance that he or she may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Listed below are the four qualifying conditions along with basic information on the documentation you will need to include with your application or appeal.

  • Convulsive epilepsy. In order for your child to qualify for disability with this condition, there must be at least one detailed description of a typical seizure provided. This should include a thorough neurological examination and include the frequency of the seizures. It’s important to note that the SSA does not recognize convulsions associated with febrile illnesses as a disability. Documentation must show that seizures are also present when the child isn’t ill. In addition, in order to be considered for disability, it has to be shown that the convulsive episodes continued longer than three months after any new therapy began and that the seizures are not easily controlled with medication or other therapies.
  • Non-convulsive epilepsy. For this type of epilepsy to be considered for a disability rating, “classical petit mal seizures” have to be shown with an EEG. Also, information must be provided that shows what age the child began having seizures and the frequency of the clinically-confirmed seizures. Also, if myoclonic seizures (either typical infantile or Lennox-gasant variety after infancy) are present this must be documented by the characteristic EEG pattern. Information on the age of onset and the incidence of the seizures must also be provided.
  • Motor dysfunction. Motor dysfunction caused by a neurological disorder can qualify a child for Social Security disability. This dysfunction can be caused by either static or progressive conditions that compromise the nervous system and produce any type of neurological impairment. Documentation of these impairments must include neurological test findings and detailed descriptions of the type of neurological abnormality. In addition, the extent of the child’s functional impairment needs to be well documented. A diagnosis is not required but when there is one, evidence that substantiates the diagnosis must be included.Motor dysfunction can include:
    • Weakness
    • Spasticity
    • Lack of coordination
    • Ataxia
    • Athetosis
    • Sensory loss
  • Impairment of communication. In order for this type of impairment to be properly documented all reports must contain an up-to-date, detailed evaluation. This must include all area of affective and effective communication and it must be performed by a qualified professional.

Do You Think Your Child Qualifies?

If so, be sure you do your homework before you apply for Social Security disability for your child. The SSA turns down many applications; even cases that seem clear cut. If you’d like help navigating either the disability application or appeal process, please contact our compassionate team of attorneys. We want you to get the assistance you need to deal with your child’s impairments; all you have to do is reach out and ask for help.


John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney of Keefe Disability Law

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