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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Children’s Mental Health Social Security Disability (SSD) Report Writing: A Guide to Enhanced Effectiveness

by Patricia A. Farrell, PhD 3 CE Credits

This course presents the salient components of the most commonly alleged Disability impairments for children (Organic Disorders, Mood Disorders, Mental Retardation, Anxiety Disorders, Autistic/PDD, and ADHD). The training/licensure required for submitting Disability reports is defined, with a focus on providing health professionals with a fuller understanding of how mental health Social Security Disability (SSD) determinations are made for children, the instrumental legal decision which established children’s right to Disability payments, the associated language and acronyms, the regulations (the POMS) governing mental health disability and how to write effective reports that meet these regulatory standards of Social Security Disability. Specifically, the course offers a glossary of necessary terminology along with guidance on acceptable reports and relevant information on how failure to observe the rules and regulations may have a negative impact on applications for Disability benefits. In addition, a discussion of which psychological/psychiatric tests are acceptable, as well as the importance of behavioral indicators within reports and how to best phrase these, is presented along with a review of the forms used and links to important Social Security website.


This online course is approved for APA CE credit, NBCC CE clock hours, ASWB Clinical CE clock hours, and NYSED CE credit.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Discuss the Five-Step Sequential Evaluation Process and the underlying premise of pace, persistence and concentration (PPC) as it applies to children.
  • Convey the salient points and effects of the Sullivan v. Zebley case.
  • Define the 4 primary sources of kids’ medical evidence and the related concept of “controlling weight”.
  • Identify the 12 basic components of a Disability report for a child’s mental health allegation and at least 2 psychological tests acceptable for kids’ evaluations.
  • Delineate the six domains which must be addressed in children’s reports and 5 strategies to maximize report effectiveness.