How does the SSA evaluate intellectual disorders?

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2021 | Social Security Disability

Living with a mental health condition isn’t easy. In fact, it can completely upend your life, making hard to function on a day-to-day basis. As a result, you might find yourself unable to work and earn a wage which, in turn, can make it challenging to get by. As stressful and overwhelming as this can be, you don’t have to sit back and accept the hand that life has dealt you. Instead, you can diligently work to secure Social Security disability benefits. If you’re successful in doing so, then you might be able to obtain the financial stability that you need while coping with your condition.

How intellectual disorders are evaluated

Last week on the blog we discussed depression and how it can qualify an individual for SSD benefits. However, mental health conditions are not the only mental health disorders that are recognized by the government. While every recognized disability under the SSD scheme has its own qualifications that have to be met, the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at three main issues when determining whether an intellectual condition is disabling. Here they are:

  • Subaverage general intellectual functioning: This analysis focuses on your IQ score. If you fall below a certain range, then you may be deemed to have subaverage general intellectual functioning.
  • Deficits in adaptive functioning: Here, the SSA looks at your skills and how you use them to deal with common life demands, such as feeding, bathing, and grooming yourself. The SSA will oftentimes look to see if you need help from others in completing these everyday tasks.
  • The onset of the condition began before the age of 22: This is pretty straightforward, but it’s important to note that you don’t have to show that you meet the legal definition of disabled before the age of 22, just that the condition manifested prior to age 22.

Do you need help with your disability claim?

This is a very broad overview of some of the factors that the SSA takes into consideration when dealing with a disability claim focused on intellectual and mental health disorders. To support your claim, you’ll need strong medical evidence and be able to show how your condition affects your daily life. If you’d like assistance in building your SSD claim, then please consider reaching out to a skilled legal team like the one at our firm.