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Social Security Rulings--Guiding Hand in SSI Childhood Disability Evaluations

By Catherine M. Callery, Linda Landry, Louise M. Tarantino & Thomas Yates

Through Social Security Rulings in 2009 the Social Security Administration brought greater order to scattered and piecemeal policies for determining childhood disability in the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. The rulings focus on the functional equivalence analysis, which is the final step in childhood disability determination and the point at which the evaluation differs from that for adults. Advocates are finding the rulings helpful at the hearing stage, as administrative law judges and federal district courts are relying on the rulings in finding that children meet the criteria for SSI.

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