The title XVI definitions of disability and blindness have no lower age limits. There
will be young applicants for whom a vocational objective cannot be established. Agreement
should be reached between the SSA and the State VR agency on the appropriate age (e.g.,
age 15) when long-range vocational rehabilitation planning would be of realistic value.
Usually, any child who has not attained the agreed-upon age should be screened out
for VR referral. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) should refer visually
impaired child applicants, regardless of age, to the appropriate agency for the blind.
In addition to consideration of VR referral, all allowed blind and disabled children
under age 16 will be referred to the State children's agency for social, developmental,
educational, medical, and rehabilitative services. (See DI 26520.030 for preparation and routing the referrals to the designated agency.)
Even though children may be too young for VR referral, all allowed blind and disabled
children under age 16 will be referred by the DDS to the State agency administering
the State program under title V of the Social Security Act or other agency designated
by the Governor for social, developmental, educational, medical, and rehabilitative
services. This means that in those States where the State VR agency accepts referral
of individuals before age 16, some children will be referred to both the State VR
agency and the designated agency at the same time. In these dual referral cases, the
responsibility lies with the State VR agency and designated agencies to coordinate
the services given the child.
All child applicants, or their representatives, should be informed of the possible
referral to the State VR agency and/or other designated agencies by the DDS. However,
because some children will be eligible neither for VR referral nor for the other designated
agency referral, all child applicants who are in need of special medical or social
services should be informed of and referred to the appropriate agencies. The field
office (FO) should annotate any referral of a child applicant for needed social or
medical services on the SSA-3820-BK (Disability Report - Child).