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Can a child qualify for Social Security disability benefits?

Pursuant to the state of New Jersey, a claimant for Social Security disability benefits may either be an adult or a child. Depending upon whether the applicant is eighteen years of age or older he may have to satisfy different requirements to demonstrate that he qualifies for the agency's financial benefits or support.

If the claimant is a child then he must have what the state refers to as a "medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s)." Medically determinable indicates that through medical investigation a health care provider is able to find evidence of the impairment or impairments; the word of a child claimant that a disorder or impairment exists is not sufficient to qualify him for Social Security disability benefits.

The medically determinable physical or mental impairment or impairments suffered by the child must be of such a nature that they impose "marked or severe functional limitations" on the child and that the impairments are expected to last at least one full year. Short-term illnesses or disorders that are easily treatable are generally not of such a severe nature to qualify a child for disability benefits.

The requirements of an adult claimant are similar to those of a child claimant in that an adult must also suffer from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment. However, for an adult the impairment must prevent him from being able to work rather than limit his functional abilities.

Understanding when and how to file an application for Social Security disability benefits for a child claimant or adult claimant can be difficult. For some, the help of an attorney who works in the disability benefits field can be a helpful way to ensure that one's application is complete and submitted with attention given to the applicant's needs.

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