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Does SSA Qualify Auditory Processing Disorder for a Child as a Disability?

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is a disability that affects the way children process sound, making it difficult for them to detect subtle differences between words. This can cause difficulties in school and home life, but those with more severe cases may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. APD is further exacerbated by background noise and distractions, making it harder for children with the disorder to understand words. With proper diagnosis and care, however, children with APD can learn strategies that will help them cope with their disability.

How Do I Get Approved for Benefits with Auditory Processing Disorder for a Child?

For a child to qualify for SSI due to an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), there are both income and asset requirements for the family in which they live. In addition, they must meet the Social Security disability listing 111.09 under Neurological Disorders, which requires either significant comprehension deficits leading to ineffective verbal communication or speech deficits that significantly impact clarity and content of their speech. If they do not meet these criteria, they may still be able to receive benefits if their impairments functionally equal the listing.

Specifically, this would include difficulty paying attention with background noise, trouble remembering information given verbally, difficulty hearing differences between similar words and sounds, difficulty staying focused long enough to acquire necessary information and difficulty with higher listening skills such as drawing inferences from conversations or understanding riddles.

Providing proper diagnosis from a doctor and detailed reports on comprehension or speech deficits can increase chances for approval of disability benefits for auditory processing disorder. In order to functionally equal the listings if criteria is not met, opinions from doctors should be provided that demonstrate the severity of impairments is equivalent to what is required by the listing.