Evaluating Functional Equivalence In Childhood Disability
In children’s disability cases, if the child’s impairment is not severe enough to meet a Social Security “listing”, meaning an approval for disability benefits, then an assessment must be done to determine if the impairment functionally equals a listing. For functional equivalence, the child must have one “extreme” or two “marked” limitations in the six domains of functioning.
The six domains of functioning are:
- Acquiring and using information
- Attending and completing tasks
- Interacting and relating with others
- Moving about and manipulating objects
- Caring for oneself, and
- Health and physical well-being.
The evaluation of how functioning is affected will be done during all of the child’s activities; meaning activities done at home, at school, and in the community. First, Social Security will identify which of the child’s activities are limited, and which domains are involved in those activities. They will then determine whether the child’s impairment(s) could affect those domains and account for the limitations. Second, Social Security will then rate the severity of the limitations in each affected domain(s). If SSA finds one extreme limitation, or two marked limitations, the child will be approved for disability benefits.