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Can my child get SSI for Asthma?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) does consider many children under the age of 18 as severely disabled and will award Supplemental Security Income benefits to them if the SSA determines their condition is so severe it will cause functional limitations that are either expected to last for 12 continuous months or result in the child’s death.

Supplemental Security Income or SSI is only offered to claimants who have very limited income and resources. The SSA has defined very specific requirements for SSI. It will not be enough for your child to be considered disabled; they will only receive SSI benefits if your family meets the income and resource requirements.

Can my child get SSI for Asthma

The SSA does award SSI benefits for children who meet the income and resource requirements and who have certain respiratory disorders which can be evidenced by physical signs, symptoms, and laboratory test abnormalities. Disabled children must also continue to have problems despite following an approved regimen of treatment, which has been supplied and ordered by their treating doctor.

Proving an Asthma Disability for a child

The SSA has very strict definitions of disability and your child’s asthmatic condition must be established by medical evidence. The SSA also notes that all medical documentation must provide detailed information about your child’s condition that is conclusive if read by an independent reviewer.

Treatment should be done over a period of time and medical records should document if the medical management of the condition has produced any improvement in the child’s functional status as well as the frequency, severity and duration of the child’s symptoms. The SSA states,
“The asthma listing specifically includes a requirement for continuing signs and symptoms despite a regimen of prescribed treatment.”

Proving Asthma Disability by meeting a SSA Listing of Impairments

The Social Security Administration maintains a listing for all the disorders they consider automatically disabling. If your child’s condition is as severe as the condition listed, the SSA will consider it automatically disabling and your child will be awarded SSI, assuming your family meets the appropriate resource and income limits.

Childhood asthma is listed under 103.03 Asthma. For more information, review the SSA Listing of Impairments (which is more informally called the Blue Book) or talk to a SSI lawyer who can review your child’s medical records.

The information provided below is from the SSA Listing of Impairments:

103.03 Asthma

A. Forced expiratory volume (FEV) must meet the values outlined by the SSA.


B. Asthmatic attacks, in spite of prescribed treatment and requiring physician intervention, occurring at least once every 2 months or at least six times a year. Each inpatient hospitalization for longer than 24 hours for control of asthma counts as two attacks, and an evaluation period of at least 12 consecutive months must be used to determine the frequency of attacks.


C. Persistent low-grade wheezing between acute attacks or absence of extended symptom-free periods requiring daytime and nocturnal use of sympathomimetic bronchodilators with one of the following:

1. Persistent prolonged expiration with radiographic or other appropriate imaging techniques evidence of pulmonary hyperinflation or peribronchial disease; or
2. Short courses of corticosteroids that average more than 5 days per month for at least 3 months during a 12-month period;


D. Growth impairment as described under the criteria in 100.00.

(Impairment of growth may be disabling in itself or it may be an indicator of the severity of the impairment due to a specific disease process. Determinations of growth impairment should be based upon the comparison of current height with at least three previous determinations, including length at birth, if available.)