Can My Child Receive SSI For Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

If your child has Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and it has affected their ability to function, they may be eligible for disability benefits through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a mental impairment that affects children, generally in their adolescence. While it is normal for a child to go through some level of disobedience in their youth, ODD goes beyond normal disobedience and often rises to a level that requires professional help.

Getting a claim approved is a challenge.  During the initial stage of filing a claim, the Arkansas approval average is only about 30%, leaving the remaining 70% of applicants with rejection notices.  During the Reconsideration stage, the approval rate plummets even lower, down to a meager 9%.  Having an experience attorney can help you succeed.  To schedule your confidential case evaluation, call Springdale, Arkansas Social Security Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak right away at (479) 316-0438.  Claims can take months or even years to be reviewed upon submission, so don’t delay another day: call now to get started.

Overview of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

To some seeing a child who misbehaves is not an issue, and can easily be taken care of. However, if you have a child with ODD you know that a small tantrum can turn into a big problem very quickly. ODD generally begins in children before the age of eight years old and can last a lifetime causing severe and detrimental impacts to their life. While symptoms can begin later than eight years old, it rarely begins in children who have already entered their teenage years. Symptoms usually begin mild and get worse over time. In order to fit this diagnosis, children must have symptoms that are constant for at least six months, and these symptoms must significantly interfere with their home or school environment and/or with social activities. Symptoms include:

  • Feelings of anger or resentment towards others
  • Negativity
  • Hostility towards people in positions of authority
  • Temper tantrums
  • Loses temper easily
  • Argumentative with adults and refuses to comply with their requests
  • Annoys others on purpose
  • Blames others for their mistakes or misbehaviors
  • Gets annoyed easily; touchy
  • Is spiteful and seeks revenge
  • Aggression towards others his age
  • Loss or lack of friends; difficulty keeping friends
  • Academic problems
  • Gets in trouble at school often, and
  • Lack of self-esteem.

Children with ODD do not see their behavior as defiant. They feel as though others are putting unreasonable demands on them when asked to behave properly. Some children are diagnosed with ODD because they are explosive and angry, but they are actually just easily frustrated and inflexible; these children may not be disobeying authority on purpose.

What is the Definition of Disability?

Not every disability is the same while you may think of someone who is in a wheelchair as being disabled, that is not always the case. Fibromyalgia syndrome is a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms. Fibromyalgia can make daily tasks difficult if not altogether impossible. To someone who is suffering with fibromyalgia it may seem obvious that they are not able to work under such severe and debilitating pain, however disability is defined in the Social Security Act as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months. The person’s medical condition must prevent him or her from doing work that he or she did in the past, and it must prevent the person from adjusting to other work. The Social Security Act defines disability very strictly and has set forth a clear set of eligibility rules. The Social Security’s disability program differ from those of private plans or other government agencies and does not provide temporary or partial disability benefits, like Workers’ Compensation or veterans’ benefits do.

How Does the SSA Evaluate OOD Claims?

When evaluating individual Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) cases, the SSA evaluates if the impairment results in “marked and severe functional limitations.” They focus first on the child’s activities, and evaluate how appropriately, effectively, and independently the child functions compared to children of the same age who do not have impairments. They consider what activities the child cannot do or has difficulty doing, needs help doing, or is restricted from doing because of the impairment.

The SSA then evaluates the effects of a child’s impairment(s) by rating the degree to which the impairment(s) limits functioning in six “domains”. Domains are broad areas of functioning intended to capture all of what a child can or cannot do. They use the following six domains.

  1. Acquiring and using information
  2. Attending and completing tasks
  3. Interacting and relating with others
  4. Moving about and manipulating objects
  5. Caring for yourself
  6. Health and physical well-being.

Will My Child Continue to Receive Benefits After They Are 18?

Social Security Disability payments can be paid for a child under the age of 18 for many reasons, however it may not always be clear if they will continue to receive those payments once they turn 18 years old.  Benefits are traditionally paid to the child’s caregiver when they are under the age of 18 and are intended to be used to care for the child while they are unable to care for themselves.

Approximately every three years, every social security disability cases is reviewed to ensure that the person who is receiving benefits still qualifies as disabled and is entitled to receive compensation.  However, once a child qualifies for Social Security disability payments as a result of their own disability they will often continue to receive benefits and qualify unless it can be demonstrated that their condition has improved significantly.  This is partially due to the different criteria that the Social Security Administration sets forth for children. When a child who has received benefits turns 18 they will be assessed according to the current standards for adults, which can be more stringent than those for children.

Let a Fayetteville, Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorney Work For You

For more than 20 years the Law Practice of Ken Kieklak has worked to secure benefits for the people who need it most. If you or a loved one has a medical condition and cannot work, it is important to speak to a Fayetteville AR disability lawyer. You can arrange for a free legal consultation by calling (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.