Complete an SSA-1207 (Disability Hearings Officer’s Decision) to document a partially
or fully unfavorable determination. In the “Analysis of Evidence and Findings of Fact” section, concisely discuss the evidence and provide a rationale showing that each
of the methods for determining functional equivalence were considered in accordance
with DI 25225.001. There is no new supplemental form for the new childhood disability standard. In
preparing their determinations, DHOs should follow the SSA-538-F6 (Childhood Disability
Evaluation Form) format.
The DHO should generally use the following format in preparing Childhood Disability
State basis for hearing, e.g., “Pursuant to P.L. 104-193, the claimant's disability was redetermined, and he/she was
found to be no longer disabled and not eligible for disability benefits. The claimant
appeals and states that he/she continues to be disabled because of (insert current
Discuss the documentary evidence/facts relevant to making the determination in the
case (signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings, including test scores and interpretations,
professional observations and opinions, lay descriptions of claimant's functioning,
kinds and effects of treatment, and any other necessary information). If there are
inconsistencies in the documentary evidence (e.g., between two doctors' reports) that
would affect the outcome, explain how the inconsistencies were resolved, i.e., why
one piece of evidence received more weight than another.
Discuss testimony and observations from the hearing, addressing, as appropriate, credibility
and the weight given to any statements.
Using the facts described above, make an analysis at each of the following review
steps, as required. The methods for evaluating functional equivalence are not a sequence
and do not have to be considered in any particular order. Once a child is found disabled,
there is no need to address any subsequent steps; however, each of the methods for
determining functional equivalence must be addressed before denying a claim.
Disability Hearing Officers may incorporate the following language into their decisions
in assessing disability under the 1996 childhood disability standard. This language
provides an outline for the determination which will have to be supported at each
step with an explanation based on the case facts.
“In making a determination of disability, the hearing officer reviews the following
evaluation steps as required by SSA regulations.
1. The claimant does (not) have a severe impairment. (NOTE: To be “severe” the claimant's impairment(s) must have more than a minimal effect on the claimant's
ability to function. If the claimant's impairment(s) is not severe, the claimant will
be found not disabled and the hearing officer will not continue to the next review
2. The claimant does (not) have an impairment or combination of impairments that meets
or medically equals an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix
3. The claimant does (not) have an impairment or combination of impairments that is
functionally equivalent to an impairment listed in 20 C.F.R., Part 404, Subpart P,
Appendix 1. In reaching this conclusion, the Hearing Officer considered the following
methods of evaluating functional equivalence and concludes as follows: (NOTE: If the
claim is being denied, each step must be considered. However, if a claim can be allowed
using one of the following four functional equivalence methods, the other methods
need not be considered.)
(a) The claimant's impairment(s) does (not) produce limitations of specific function(s)
that is the same as that in any listed impairment.
(b) The claimant's impairment(s) does (not) produce disabling functional limitation
due to frequent illnesses, attacks, or exacerbations and remissions that are the same
as the disabling functional limitations of any listed impairment.
(c)The claimant does (not) experience functional limitations as a result of long-term
treatment that are the same as those in any listed impairment with criteria based
(d) The claimant's functional ability is (not) extremely limited in at least one or
markedly limited in at least two of the following areas: cognitive/ communicative,
motor, social, responsiveness to stimulus (only for birth to attainment of age 1),
person (only for age 3 to attainment of age 18), and concentration, persistence, or
pace (only for age 3 to attainment of age 18).”