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 third domain used by SSA is called 3. Interacting and Relating to Others. In this domain, SSA will consider the child’s ability to initiate and respond to exchanges with other people, and to form and sustain relationships with family members, friends, and other people. This would include all aspects of social interaction in all different areas of the child’s life.
Also, because communication is essential to both interacting and relating, SSA considers speech and language skills that a child would need to speak intelligibly and to understand and use language of their community. The ability to interact and relate with others begins at birth. A child begins to us his/her ability in early infancy when they bond with a caregiver.
As with limitations in any domain, SSA does not consider a limitation in the domain unless it results from a medically determinable impairment(s).