Close Menu


Disability benefits for cerebral palsy are available through the Social Security Administration. In order to receive SSD and SSI benefits, your cerebral palsy symptoms must be so severe that you cannot work for more than 12 months. This article is about cerebral palsy and how to win SSDI and SSI benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

In order to file an application for benefits, you simply need to go to the Social Security website. There, you can begin your application. If you do not have access to a computer, you can also file your application over the phone or go to your local SSA office in person. If you need help filing your application, then contact Cannon Disability Law. One of the services we provide for our clients is to help them file their application with the SSA.


Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects the brain and the nerves in the body. Because it affects the nerves, the disease disrupts your coordination and muscle movements.

Some adults with cerebral palsy may experience a lack of coordination and mild speech problems. They may have mild impairments, like an awkward gait. Other adults, however, may be unable to walk. It is possible for those with cerebral palsy to be unable to use their hands, speak coherently, or hear properly.

The word Cerebral paralysis on the sky background disability benefits

Most people who have cerebral palsy are diagnosed at birth. According to United Cerebral Palsy, there are almost 800,000 adults and children who currently have the disorder.

If you have cerebral palsy or you have a child with cerebral palsy, then you can apply for benefits through the SSA. The SSA gives benefits to people who are unable to work due to a severe disability such as cerebral palsy. To receive SSD benefits, you must have worked  and paid taxes for 20 out of the last 40 quarters. Additionally, your condition must prevent you from working for more than 12 months.

  • Spastic cerebral palsy. This type is the most common form of the disorder. People with spastic cerebral palsy have stiff muscles which cause jerky or repeated movements. There are different forms of spastic cerebral palsy, depending on the body parts affected.


    • Spastic hemiplegia or hemiparesis. This type of cerebral palsy affects the arm, the hand, and sometimes the leg on only one side of the body. Children with this form may have delays in learning to talk, but their intelligence is usually normal.
    • Spastic diplegia or diparesis. People with this form of cerebral palsy have muscle stiffness in their legs. However, their  arms and face are less severely affected. Intelligence and language skills are usually normal.
    • Spastic quadriplegia or quadriparesis. This is the most severe form of cerebral palsy, because it involves severe stiffness of the arms and legs and a floppy, or weak, neck. People with spastic quadriplegia are usually unable to walk. Additionally, they often have trouble speaking. This form of cerebral palsy may also involve moderate to severe intellectual disorder.


  • Dyskinetic cerebral palsy. This type of cerebral palsy involves slow and jerky movements of the hands, feet, arms, or legs. The face muscles and tongue may be overactive and cause some children to drool or make faces. People with this type often have trouble sitting or walking. People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy do not usually have intellectual problems.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy. This form of the disorder affects balance and depth perception. People with ataxic cerebral palsy walk in an unsteady manner and have a hard time with quick or precise movements such as writing, buttoning a shirt, or reaching for a book.
  • Mixed types. This kind of cerebral palsy includes symptoms that are a mix of the other types.


While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are a variety of treatments that a doctor can recommend. Below please find some of the most common forms of treatment:

  • Physical therapy. This is an important part of treatment because it can strengthen your muscles. Muscle training can also help improve your strength, balance, motor development and mobility.
  • Occupational therapy. This is a form of therapy that involves working on your activities of daily living. It helps people improve their ability to be independent.
  • Speech and language therapy. This type of therapy improves your ability to speak because it helps strengthen the muscles of the mouth and it also helps you learn to make specific sounds with your mouth. It can also help improve speech defects or other languages problems.
  • Recreational therapy. This kind of therapy provides services that helps people with cerebral palsy have fun and be social with others. For example, it can involve sports, games, dancing, drama, music, and doing arts and crafts.

Once again, while there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are treatments that can help the individual with the condition to lead a constructive life.


Call the SSA at 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to submit an application for SSI or SSDI through your local SSA office. Or, you can apply online on the Social Security’s website.

After you submit all the information to the SSA, a claims worker will request your medical records. Next, a medical consultant will review your records and make a decision about whether you should receive benefits. It can take 4 to 8 months for the SSA to make the initial decision.

If you need to apply for SSI for a child with cerebral palsy, then the rules are different. Read our article on how children with cerebral palsy can qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Adults with cerebral palsy may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. To qualify, the disease must prevent you from working. The SSA looks at the severity of your cerebral palsy under Listing 11.07, which you will find below.


The SSA has a listing for cerebral palsy. In order to receive SSDI benefits for cerebral palsy, you must meet or equal listing 11.07. This means you must have all of the cerebral palsy symptoms on SSA’s list. Likewise, you must also have symptoms with meet or equal the listing in terms of severity. Below, you will find Listing 11.07:

11.07 Cerebral palsy, characterized by A, B, or C:

A. Disorganization of motor function in two extremities, resulting in an extreme limitation in the ability to stand up from a seated position, balance while standing or walking, or use the upper extremities.


B. Marked limitation in physical function and in one of the following:

  1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information; or
  2. Interacting with others; or
  3. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or
  4. Adapting or managing oneself.


C. Significant interference in communication due to speech, hearing, or visual deficit.


  1. Disorganization of motor function means interference, due to your neurological disorder, with movement of two extremities; i.e., the lower extremities, or upper extremities (including fingers, wrists, hands, arms, and shoulders). By two extremities the SSA means both lower extremities, or both upper extremities, or one upper extremity and one lower extremity. All listings in this body system, like Post-Polio syndrome, except for 11.02 for Epilepsy, 11.10 for ALS, and 11.20 for coma, include criteria for disorganization of motor function that results in an extreme limitation in your ability to:
    • Stand up from a seated position; or
    • Balance while standing or walking; or
    • Use the upper extremities (including fingers, wrists, hands, arms, and shoulders).


The SSA defines an extreme limitation as being unable to stand up from a seated position and maintain balance in a standing position and while walking. Cerebral palsy can also result in scoliosis, which can cause pain and interfere with posture. Also, the SSA defines an extreme limitation as not being able to use your upper extremities to independently initiate, sustain, and complete work activities.

The assessment of motor function depends on the degree of interference with standing up. When standing up you balance or walk. Additionally, you use your upper extremities, including your fingers, hands, arms, and shoulders.


  • FROM SITTING TO STANDING UP – Being unable stand up from a seated position means that once seated you are unable to stand and maintain an upright position without the assistance of another person or the use of an assistive device, such as a walker, two crutches, or two canes.
  • BALANCE WHILE WALKING – If you cannot maintain balance in a standing position, then that means you are unable to maintain an upright position while standing or walking without the assistance of another person or an assistive device. An assistive device is a walker, two crutches, or two canes.
  • USE OF THE UPPER EXTREMITIES – The inability to use your upper extremities means you have a loss of function of both upper extremities. This includes your fingers, wrists, hands, arms, and shoulders. The inability to use your upper extremities must seriously limit your ability to independently initiate, sustain, and complete work related activities involving fine and gross motor movements. Inability to perform fine and gross motor movements could include not being able to pinch, manipulate, and use your fingers. Likewise, it can involve being unable to use your hands, arms, and shoulders to perform gross motor movements. These upper extremity movements involve the ability to hand, grip, grasp, hold, turn, and reach. Additionally, it includes not being able to perform movements such a lifting, carrying, pushing, and pulling.


If you have significant difficulty communicating with others because you are hard of hearing, have a significant speech problem, or have vision problems, you may be able to fulfill this requirement.


If your cerebral palsy does not meet the SSA’s official listing, then you still might be able to get benefits based on a medical-vocational allowance. However, you must show that your cerebral palsy reduces your capacity to work so that there are no jobs you can do, considering your education, your prior job experience, and your age.

The RFC is what is “found” at step four of the review process. While DDS determines your RFC at the lower levels of your claim. Once the case moves to the a hearing, it is the ALJ who will determine your RFC. Your RFC can help you win benefits by showing that your cannot physical or mentally sustain a full-time job. Find out more about SSD hearings.

In order for the ALJ’s RFC assessment to comply with SSA’s rules, the ALJ’s decision must include a narrative discussion. The discussion must describe how the medical evidence supports each conclusion. It also must cite specific medical facts (e.g., laboratory findings) and non-medical evidence (e.g., daily activities, observations).


In assessing your RFC when you have cerebral palsy, the ALJ must discuss the your ability to perform work activities in an ordinary work setting on a regular basis (i.e., 8 hours a day, for 5 days a week, or an equivalent work schedule). Also, the ALJ must describe the maximum amount of each work activity you can perform based on the evidence in the case record. The ALJ must also explain how the medical evidence was considered.

In all cases in which symptoms, such as pain, are alleged, the RFC assessment must:

  • Contain a discussion and analysis of the objective medical and other evidence, including your complaints of pain and other symptoms and the judge’s personal observations, if appropriate;
  • Include a resolution of any inconsistencies in the evidence as a whole; and
  • Set forth a logical explanation of the effects of the symptoms, including pain, on your ability to work.

If you have cerebral palsy,  then your RFC may be very reduced. For more information about how the SSA assesses the residual functional capacity, go to our article on Residual Functional Capacity and SSD.


Knowing that babies and children with cerebral palsy often need financial help right away, the SSA grants immediate SSI benefits to children who are likely to qualify for benefits. If your child has cerebral palsy and has severe problems speaking and trouble with hand and arm movements. Likewise, if they need braces to walk, then your child probably qualifies for “presumptive disability” benefits.

If your child is an infant at an age not expected to speak or walk, the SSA will look at his motor and communicative development based on what is appropriate for his age. For more information, see our article on winning Childhood Cerebral Palsy SSI benefits for children.


The National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke (NINDS) are investigating the roles of accidents in early in brain development. This includes  genetic defects, which are sometimes responsible for the brain abnormalities that can cause cerebral palsy.

Scientists are also looking at traumatic events in newborn babies’ brains, such as bleeding, seizures, and breathing and circulation problems. These events can cause the release of chemicals that trigger damage.

Researchers also hope to find ways to prevent white matter disease, the most common cause of cerebral palsy.  To make sure children are getting the right kinds of therapy, studies are also being done on new treatments. Hopefully, with the new studies, doctors and parents will have valid information to help them choose the best therapy.

Social security disability benefits apply for cerebral palsy


The monthly SSDI amount is different for everyone, because people earn different amounts of money. However, the average SSDI monthly payment in 2022 is around $1,358. Some people may receive more than that, because during their working years they earned more money. About one in 10 people who receive Social Security benefits get more than $2,000 per month. People with spouses and children also receive more money. The SSA also pays SSDI benefits to those with a spouse and children. A person with a spouse and children can expect an average monthly payment of around $2,383 in SSDI benefits.

If your cerebral palsy is so severe that you cannot work, then you should file for SSDI benefits. The amount of money you receive will depend upon the amount of money you have earned during your working years. You can apply for SSD benefit online at the Social Security’s website. Or, you can contact us and we will help you file your application for benefits or any other medical condition that prevents you from working.

Additionally, SSDI benefits come with Medicare benefits after a waiting period. Learn more about Medicare benefits. If you are already on SSDI benefits, then you should also learn about Medicare Advantage plans, which can lower your health costs.


If you cannot work, the results of your SSDI case will dictate the money you have for the future. You need to hire a law firm that care about your future benefits. Cannon Disability Law is one of the best law firms in the country. We are one of the best Social Security law firms in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are from Nevada, then learn more about Nevada SSD Information.

The lawyers at our law firm are also members of the NOSSCR. Learn more about Utah SSD benefits and California SSD benefits information. However, we can represent you no matter where you live.


There are many important issues, like your residual functional capacity (RFC), that play a large role in whether you receive your benefits for cerebral palsy. You need a lawyer who understands those issues. You also need a lawyer who knows the law. Cannon Disability wants to be your legal team. Hire us for our experience. Over the last 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI claims.

Another important factor to consider is what it costs to hire an attorney. Our law firm is affordable. You do not pay an attorney fee until we win your case. The attorney fee comes out of your back benefit. If we do not win your case, then there is no back benefit. Therefore, you will not owe us an attorney fee.


How much is the attorney fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. But, the fee is capped at $7200. Therefore, you will not pay more than the cap of $7200. You will pay either 25% of the back benefit or the $7200 cap. In other words, your attorney fee is whatever amount is the smaller amount.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay for those costs. But the costs are usually less than $100. You must also pay to obtain a copy of your medical records. The cost of your medical records is whatever your doctor charges for them. You owe costs whether we win or lose your case. But, to hire most lawyers, you have to pay a fee upfront. However, you can’t do that because you don’t have a job. We understand. Which is why you only pay an attorney fee to us if we win your SSDI and SSI case. If you need more information about attorney fees, then read here.


At Cannon Disability Law, we can help you apply for SSD benefits for cerebral palsy. When you are ready to become our client, we will send you paperwork. You can also review some of our client paperwork on our Fee Agreement and Important Forms page.

In our office, we have lawyers and staff who will help you complete your application. Usually, we help you file your application online on Social Security’s website. If you receive a denial, then we can help you appeal it. Likewise, if your case is set for a hearing, then we represent you at your hearing before an ALJ.

One of the things we do is help you be a good witness at your hearing. We meet with your before the hearing. At the meeting, we talk about how to answer questions. We also let you know what kind of questions you will be asked. Learn more about a SSD hearing.


There are many law firms that claim they practice Social Security law. However, most of those firms do other types of cases. For example, some firms practice personal injury or Worker’s Compensation law. We don’t do that. Our firm only takes Social Security cases. We don’t practice any other kind of law.

Our firm believes it is important to focus on Social Security cases, because by doing one type of law we have become the best in our legal area. Read here, if you want an example of how we don’t give up trying to win SSD benefits for cerebral palsy.

It is hard to trust your future to a lawyer. We understand. That is why we include information about our attorneys on our website. Dianna Cannon has helped thousands of clients win benefits for the past 30 years. She has also written a book about Social Security law. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have over 30 years of combined legal experience. They work hard for our clients every day. We focus only on SSDI and SSI cases. Find out more about the lawyers and staff at Cannon Disability on our About Us page.


Our goal is to win your benefits for cerebral palsy. We do win cases prior to the hearing stage. However, we also win cases at the hearing level. If you do not win your case at the hearing, you can appeal. There are only a few appeal options.

For example, if the judge issues an unfavorable decision, then we can appeal your case to the Appeals Council. If the Appeals Council denies review, then we can file an appeal in Federal Court. Hopefully, your case will never go that far. In order to fight government agency decisions you need a good lawyer. If you need help at any level of your case, then call us.


Proving your RFC is only one element in your SSD case. In order to win your benefits, you need to prove that your cerebral palsy meets or equals an SSA listing. If you do not meet or equal a listing, your can try to win your case with the VE. There are many complex Social Security laws. And, they all apply to each case.

However, we know your case is different than anyone else’s case. You may have breast cancer or severe back pain. Or, you may have a rare disease. Even if you don’t have a rare disease, then your symptoms are stopping you from working. We know it this process is hard. No one wants to face the SSA alone. Especially when you are not feeling your best and you don’t have a job.


The best thing about hiring us is we take care of your case. We have specialists who will help you apply for SSD and SSI benefits. If you need help filing out SSA’s paperwork, we will help you fill out the forms.

We help you collect your records. Also, we appeal any SSA denial. If your case is denied, then we request your hearing. Then, we prepare you for court. Preparation for court requires review of your records. But, it also requires preparing you to testify.

When you hire an attorney, you want one you can trust. You can trust the lawyers and staff at our law firm. With our team approach and our years of experience, you can trust us to fight for your benefits. We will also make sure that you get all of the benefits you deserve. Give us a call. Put our experience to work for you. You can also contact Cannon Disability Law online and we will help you with your benefits case for cerebral palsy.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Contact Form Tab

Quick Contact Form