X You may need to Reload the page to make it work correctly.
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.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 3 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction to Children’s Mental Health Social Security Disability Claims
  • The Precedent Setting Case of Sullivan v. Zebley
  • The Five-Step Sequential Evaluation
  • The Listing of Childhood Impairments
  • Children’s Mental Disorders Listings
  • Quick Decision for SSI Payments to Children
  • Sources of Medical Evidence (MER)
  • The Concept of “Controlling Weight” and Treating Source Opinions
  • Relevant Psychological Tests and Measures
  • Testing within Structured Settings
  • Ethical Guidelines Regarding Testing
  • What Mental Abilities Do Children Need?
  • What Information Goes into the Mental Health Report?
  • Necessary Information from Other Sources and Other Forms
  • What Doesn’t Belong In Your Report?
  • A Call from a Social Security Disability Medical Consultant
  • Re-evaluating Benefits Over Time: The Diary
  • Final Thoughts on a Successful Report
  • Glossary of Terms
  • References

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.