Obtaining disability benefits for having an intellectual disorder

Many Californians suffer from serious injuries and illnesses that leave them unable to work. Under these circumstances, these individuals may find it hard to make ends meet. After all, how are they supposed to pay their rent or mortgage, their utilities, and put food on the table when they have no income? Well, many of these individuals may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, before cash benefits can be obtained, a disabled individual must show the Social Security Administration that they meet certain federal requirements.

This week, let us look at intellectual disorders. In order for this medical condition to be deemed a disability, an individual must show that they fit into one of two categories. Under the first category, they must show that they suffer from sub-average intellectual functioning, significant deficit in adaptive functioning, and these issues began prior to the individual turning 22 years of age. Under this category, the deficits in question can be evidenced by an inability to participate in standardized testing and the reliance on others to perform daily tasks such as eating, bathing, and going to the bathroom

In essence, the second category under which an individual can qualify for disability benefits because of an intellectual disorder involves the same deficits. However, the way that they are shown is different. Here, an individual may turn to their IQ score, their ability to understand and remember information, and their ability to interact with others as evidence of their disability.

There are other requirements that must be met before an SSD claim will succeed, which is why many initial claims are denied. Yet, this shouldn't deter an individual from pursuing a claim if they feel that a disability has rendered them unable to work. If this is the case, then it may be wise to discuss the matter with a qualified legal professional to determine how best to proceed.

Source: Social Security Administration, "12.00 Mental Disorders - Adult," accessed on May 21, 2017

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