A child suffering from systemic vasculitis may qualify for Childhood SSI. The systemic vasculitides are characterized by inflammation of blood vessel walls. Vessels of any type, in any organ can be affected, resulting in a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms.
Childhood SSI claims are evaluated differently than adult claims for Social Security Disability or SSI. The requirements are actually more stringent. The Social Security Administration determines whether the child has an impairment or combination of impairments that meets or medically equals the criteria of a listing, or that functionally equals the listings.
The listing for systemic vaculitis requires:
A. Involvement of two or more organs/body systems, with:
- One of the organs/body systems involved to at least a moderate level of severity; and
- At least two of the constitutional symptoms and signs (severe fatigue, fever, malaise, or involuntary weight loss).
B. Any other manifestation(s) of systemic vasculitis resulting in one of the following:
- For children from birth to attainment of age 1, at least one of the criteria in paragraphs A-E of 112.12; or
- For children age 1 to attainment of age 3, at least one of the appropriate age‑group criteria in paragraph B1 of 112.02; or
- For children age 3 to attainment of age 18, at least two of the appropriate age‑group criteria in paragraph B2 of 112.02.
The 112.12 and 112.02 requirements looks at the functioning of the child in terms of cognitive/cumminicative areas, motor development, emotional development, social funcitioning, and personal functioning.
If the Listing cannot be proven, the claim can still be won if an impairment or combination of impairments functionally equals the listings and one must assess the claimant's functioning in terms of six domains: (1) acquiring and using information; (2) attending and completing tasks; (3) interacting and relating with others; (4) moving about and manipulating objects; (5) caring for yourself; and (6) health and physical well-being. In making this assessment, one must compare how appropriately, effectively and independently the claimant performs activities compared to the performance of other children of the same age who do not have impairments. To functionally equal the listings, the claimant's impairment or combination of impairments must result in "marked" limitations in two domains of functioning or an "extreme" limitation in one domain.