Jordan noticed her son, Aaron, struggled with reading even simple books. His teacher suggested they test him for dyslexia. Concerned that her son might have this common learning disability, Jordan allowed him to be tested. When the results showed he had dyslexia, the real worries began – Jordan did not have the money to pay for the therapy and educational intervention he needed. She wondered whether benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) cover dyslexia?
Dyslexia Affects Education and Work
A child with dyslexia may have trouble processing information, spelling, reading, and understanding word math problems. Adults with dyslexia may find it difficult to remember instructions, copy information, file documents correctly, and communicate with others in both oral and written communications. Both children and adults may struggle with lack of confidence, frustration, confusion, and embarrassment.
However, does the Social Security Administration (SSA) consider dyslexia a disability?
The SSA administers the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs. For an individual to receive SSDI, they must have a medical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability. Applicants must:
- be unable to continue working at their current job;
- not be able to do a different type of work unhindered by their disability; and
- have a disability that has lasted one year, is expected to last for one year or is expected to be their cause of death.
When reviewing an application for SSDI, SSA caseworkers will apply this definition to determine whether the person’s medical condition is a disability covered by SSDI. However, SSDI applicants also must have accumulated enough work credits to receive SSDI payments.
Determining Whether Dyslexia Is a Disability
SSA caseworkers will look for medical evidence that an application has a medical condition, proof that the condition prevents the applicant from working, and evidence that the applicant cannot work due to that condition.
Before deciding that SSDI covers dyslexia, the SSA will need to determine that dyslexia causes an extreme limitation in one area or a “marked” limitation ins two or more areas that relate to a person’s ability to work. If the SSA finds that dyslexia is not disabling in this area, it will then assess whether an adult’s dyslexia is severe enough to prevent him or her from working at unskilled labor.
Will SSDI Cover Dyslexia?
Maybe. For adults, it may depend on whether the dyslexia is considered a true disability. However, children with dyslexia may be eligible for SSI payments.
The application process can be long and frustrating, so you need someone on your side. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.