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Cannon Disability Law, Social Security Disability AttorneysWHAT ARE THE SIX CHILDHOOD DISABILITY DOMAINS ?

In order to win SSI or childhood disability benefits, you must be familiar with the six domains the SSA uses to describe childhood medical conditions. The six domains are listed below. If your child’s mental or physical condition does not meet a listing, then you can turn to the domains to show your child has a medical condition that deserves payment of SSI benefits.

In order for the SSA to pay SSI benefits, your child must have two “marked” impairments or one “extreme” impairment in a domain area. For example, if you look at the domain “Acquiring and Using Information,” then you will see that a child might have an “extreme” impairment if they cannot use speech to explain their thoughts or form sentences.  If your child has low birth weight, then learn about SSI benefits.

The severity of the domain impairment depends upon the child’s age and whether or not they have age appropriate behavior.  Often, the parent can testify as to domain limitations. Additionally, good evidence about the domains is easy to secure from teachers, tutors, counselors, or even other family members. Click here to learn more about SSI Benefits for Children. You can apply for SSI benefits online at Social Security’s website.


When your child does not meet or equal one of SSA’s listings, then the six domains kick in. SSA uses the following domains to break apart physical and mental tasks. If you child is having problems with any of the tasks or elements below, then they may have a disability. In order to be be paid SSI benefits, the child must have two marked impairments or one extreme impairment.

Typically, a parent and the child’s teachers fill out forms that document the child’s impairments in each area. A parent can also testify at the child’s Social Security hearing. Each domain below has examples of how a marked or extreme impairment in that domain might exist.


This domain centers upon how well a child is able to learn and acquire information and then how well he or she is able to apply this information. As children develop, they should acquire skills in communication, reading, reasoning and arithmetic. These skills should continue to develop and progress throughout the child’s life. Learn more about childhood chronic kidney disease.

A marked or extreme limitation may exist if the child:

  • Does not understand how things relate through size, space or time
  • Cannot rhyme words
  • Has difficulty retaining information about important concepts
  • Cannot solve simple arithmetic problems
  • Or cannot explain things and speaks primarily in concise sentences


This domain centers on the child’s ability to focus and keep attention on a task. This focuses on the child’s ability to start a task, continue it and complete it at a normal pace based on his or her age. While children may get distracted, they should be able to retain focus on a given task. It is important that a child be able to follow instructions and complete assignments in a timely manner.

A marked or extreme limitation may be present in the following situations, if a child:

  • is easily distracted or overreacts to sensory impulses
  • has trouble focusing on a task or cannot finish an activity
  • becomes easily frustrated, causing him or her to give up on tasks
  • requires extra supervision to stay engaged with an activity
  • often interrupts others or is sidetracked from his or her activity


A child is expected to interact well with his or her peers, follow rules and respond to authority. He or she should be able to develop personal relationships with others, such as parents, peers and teachers. He or she should also know that there are social rules and laws that regulate behavior and should be able to comply with them.

A severe or extreme limitation may be present when a child:

  • Does not have close friends of the same age
  • Avoids contact with others, including those whom he or she knows
  • Does not reach out to his or her parents to be picked up
  • Has problems following rules for activities like sports or board games
  • Struggles with talking about emotions, holding a conversation or asking for help
  • Experiences difficulties with sufficient fluency when speaking


This childhood disability domain focuses on the use of gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve moving your arms and legs. For example, you use your arms and legs in activities like crawling and running. Fine motor skills are smaller movements, such as the movement of your fingers or toes. For example, you use fine motor skills when you grasp or write.

A marked or extreme limitation may be present if the child has:

  •  sensory loss, joint pain or muscle weakness
  • problems with gross or fine motor movement
  • difficulty with balance or climbing stairs
  • poor hand-eye coordination when using utensils or tools


A child should be able to take care of himself or herself as he or she ages. Children learn how to take care of their own personal needs, health and safety as they get older and mature. This domain also look at how a child deals with changes in his or her environment.

A severe or extreme limitation may be present when the child:

  • Tries to eat items that are not food
  • Is unable to bathe or dress himself or herself, based on age
  • Has regressive behaviors
  • Does not try to entertain himself or herself
  • Does not follow safety rules
  • Has problems eating or sleeping


This domain considers the physical effects of a child’s condition and treatment. A marked or severe limitation may be present if the child:

  • Requires medical treatment to maintain his or her health
  • Suffers from physical limits due to medication or treatment
  • Has other physical issues, such as agitation, dizziness or weakness

Childhood Disability benefits, Smiling little boy, kid with disabilities and his mother. Child has cerebral palsy


If you are parent reading this information, know that it is your job to produce evidence about your child. You can do it. Especially if you understand the SSA domain areas. Evidence can be medical records from your child’s doctor. But, evidence can also be from professionals who know your child.

A teacher or counselor at school can testify about your child’s behavior. For example, if your child has Oppositional Defiant Disorder, their teacher can discuss their behavior toward other children and the teacher at school. They could also talk about your child’s social isolation or trouble with concentration due to Autism Spectrum Disorder or some other mental or physical condition. Your child may have a Sunday school teacher or a tutor at school who could give insight into your child’s issues with Chronic Kidney Disease. Do not overlook any source of evidence.


If you need help filing for childhood disability benefits, then reach out to our law firm. Taking the first step by calling us. All you need to do is reach out to our legal team.

Additionally, we offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. At that point, we will look at the merits of your case for free and let you know if you have a chance to win benefits. We do not charge you for our review of your case.

In the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in SSDI and SSI benefits for our clients. We are experts at what we do and we will put our knowledge to work for you. We help clients win benefits in many states, including Nevada, Utah, Idaho, and California. Find out more about your benefits and how to apply in your state here:

No matter where you live, we want to be your legal team. Hire the best Social Security legal team with no money down. Also, there will be no attorney fee unless we win your case. Contact us today. We will do our best to help you win SSI benefits for your child’s medical conditions.


The SSA has capped attorney fees in Social Security cases, including childhood SSI cases, at 25% of your past due or back benefit or $7200, which ever amount is less. This is the most your attorney can charge you if your case is won at the hearing level or below.

For example, if your attorney wins your child’s SSI case and your back benefit is $10,000, then the attorney fee will be 25% of the back benefit, or $2500. In such a case, you would not pay the $7200 cap. Instead, the attorney fee is 25% of the back benefit, which is less than the cap. This is what happens in most childhood SSI cases.

In another example, if you attorney wins your SSI case and your back benefit is $100,000, the attorney fee is not $25,000, which is 25% of the back benefit. Instead, the attorney fee would be $7200. Because $7200 is the most your attorney can charge you after winning your case at the hearing level or below. That is true even if 25% is higher than the $7200 cap.

Additionally, your attorney can only charge an attorney fee if they win your case. In other words, if you do not win your SSI benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. So, if you don’t get SSI benefits, then your attorney doesn’t get paid. Obviously, your attorney has a good reason to win your case. This type of attorney fee depends on you winning your benefits. Learn more about attorney fees in SSD cases.


It isn’t easy to get Social Security benefits and the application process can be frustrating for most people. But, having an attorney throughout this appeal process can help. It is our belief that when you have a law firm with experience handling your Social Security case, the SSA makes sure that they follow their own procedures. Additionally, when you have an attorney with legal experience, they will have access to Social Security’s decisions throughout the process. They can also submit medical evidence that may be missing from your case.

There is evidence that hiring an attorney with the proper experience raises your chances of winning your SSDI and SSI benefits by 30%. It is also smart to hire an attorney to help you at your hearing. After all, you are the star witness at your hearing. If you hire an attorney with experience, they can prepare you to be a good witness at your hearing. Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing.


In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in SSI benefits for our clients. If you want to win SSI benefits, then you need to hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to show the SSA that your infant should be paid SSI benefits. We can do that. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers has twenty one years working with our law firm’s clients. She can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of SSI cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping clients win SSD benefits for over thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSDI benefits. We are legal experts. You can trust us to help you win SSI benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. If you win SSI benefits, then you also get Medicaid benefits. Also, we help our clients with their Medicare benefits. Our experts can help you apply for SSI benefits using the SSA’s website.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms you will need to fill out.  If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms.

Call us for a free review of your SSI case today. We can help you if you have a child with low birth weight or failure to thrive or other severe disorders. If you have questions or concerns about filing for childhood disability benefits, then call Cannon Disability Law. We can help.

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