If a child has a severe impairment(s) that does not meet or medically equal any listing, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will then look to see if the child functionally equals the listings. To functionally equal the listing, the child’s impairments must result in marked limitations in two domains, or extreme limitation in one domain.
The second domain used by SSA is called 2. Attending and completing tasks. In this domain, SSA considers how well the child is able to focus and maintain attention, and how well the child starts, follows through, and finishes their activities. With this, pace at which the activities are performed is also considered.
Attention involves how the child regulates their level of alertness and maintains concentration. SSA will look at a child’s ability to filter out distractions and stay focused on activity or a task. This would include focusing long enough to initiate and complete an activity or task, and change focus once the task is completed.
Adequate attention is also needed to maintain physical and mental effort and concentration on an activity or task. Adequate attention allows the child to think and reflect before starting or stopping an activity. SSA will consider all of the relevant information in the case record when deciding whether the child’s medically determinable impairment(s) result in marked or extreme limitations in this domain.