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Disability benefits for minors with intellectual disabilities

| Jun 26, 2021 | Blog, Social Security Disability Benefits

Most people in California might assume that only adults can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. This assumption comes from the idea that only an adult need worry about financially supporting themselves or a family. Yet as the parent of a child struggling with a disability, you know that their unique needs can also equate to an added financial strain.

Many inf your same position come to us here at the Disability Rights Law Center questioning whether their child’s disability might qualify them for financial assistance through the Social Security Administration. If your child deals with an intellectual disorder, they indeed may qualify for benefits.

Reviewing the SSA’s Listing of Impairments

Qualifying for benefits, however, requires that your child’s case meets the standards set forth in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. In relation to an intellectual disability, there are two distinct criteria (your child need only meet one of the two in order to qualify); The first is that your child demonstrates significantly below average intellectual functioning that impairs them from participating in standardized testing and a marked impairment in adaptive functioning that requires the intervention of you and/or others to meet their basic needs.

Taking IQ into account

The second criteria considers your child’s IQ score. If they earn either a full-scale IQ score below 70 or a full-scale score between 71-75 accompanied by either a verbal or performance IQ score below 70, they may qualify. Their score, however, must also be in conjunction with demonstrated deficits in adaptive functioning that make it difficult for them to do any of the following:

  • Comprehend and apply information
  • Interact with others
  • Maintain focus
  • Manage their own affairs

You can discover more information on qualifying for disability benefits throughout our site.

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