Learning disabilities and disability benefits
Early Intervention for learning disabilities
Early intervention for learning disabilities is critical. If a parent, school administrator or counselor is able to intervene early in the learning process the child may be able to effectively learn with specific teaching modifications.
Identifying learning disabilities can be challenging. Learning disabilities is a broad term used to identify a variety of learning disorders. The signs and symptoms will vary by age but as a child enters grade school it is not unusual to see the following difficulties:
- Trouble learning the connection between letters and sounds
- Unable to blend sounds to make words
- Confuses basic words when reading or speaking
- Consistently misspells words
- Trouble learning mathematical concepts
- Trouble verbalizing ideas or participating in class discussions
Getting Disability benefits for a Learning Disability
Whether you are a child or an adult, if you have a learning disability it will be hard to win benefits unless you can prove that your condition is very severe. For a child that will mean proving that your learning disability causes a marked and severe functional limitation. For an adult, you must prove that your condition is so severe that you cannot work for at least 12 continuous months.
If you are applying for your child you will need to complete the Childhood Disability application and provide medical information to support your childs SSI claim. Valid medical sources can include therapists, doctors and hospitals that have provided medical services to your child. Additionally, the SSA will require information from your childs school (counselor, therapist, and teacher) which should outline how your childs learning disability affects them and their ability to perform at school.
What if you are an adult with a severe learning disability? To win either SSI or SSDI benefits you will have to prove that your condition is so severe that you cannot perform work for at least 12 continuous months. If you have successfully worked in the past, you may need information about why your residual capacity to work has lowered.
To help your claim, you can provide medical documentation which proves that your learning disability markedly limits your ability to understand, your memory, your ability to sustain concentration and persistence, social interactions or adapt to a changing work environment. This information is similar to what the SSA will evaluate for a mental health disorder, but it can also be useful in proving that your learning disability is severe.
For instance, if you have medical documentation to prove you need assistance with personal grooming, shopping, or paying bills or if you can prove that you are unable to concentrate on routine daily tasks, it may be easier to prove that you would not have the capability to maintain full-time employment.
Hiring a Disability Lawyer
Learning disabilities can make it difficult to find employment, especially in the current competitive job market. The SSA, however, will be less concerned with whether you can FIND a job and more concerned with whether or not you CAN work. Talk to a disability lawyer for more information if you have a severe learning disability.
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