Will the Social Security Administration’s decision to change ‘mental retardation’ to ‘intellectual disability’ change any aspect of the claims process or standard for people who are applying for benefits with disabilities of this type?

Absolutely not.

The Social Security Administration finalized its decision to strike the term ‘mental retardation’ from their Listing of Impairments earlier this summer. Starting September 1st, all references to the term will be replaced with the updated term ‘intellectual disability.’

Our culture has seen an important shift the last several years that have left many individuals feeling that the old verbiage is offensive. The negative connotations carried by the ‘mental retardation’ verbiage also foster misunderstandings about the realities of the condition and the hardship it creates.

Social Security will not change any aspect of how the claims for an individual with disabilities of this nature qualify for disability benefits.

There will be no alterations made to:

  • The establishing standards,
  • Availability of benefits, or
  • The way claims are processed.

Only the language used to describe the condition has been updated. Intellectual disability will be handled in the same way that mental retardation was, before the change.

If you or a loved one may qualify for Social Security disability benefits in Nebraska due to intellectual disability, speak with an experienced Lincoln disability attorney at Cuddigan Law as soon as you are able. For a no-cost case evaluation, call 402-933-5405 or 402 261-4005 today. We meet with clients by appointment at 3800 Normal Blvd., Ste 201, Lincoln, NE 68506. Additionally, be sure to get your copy of our free booklet, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case.

Sean D. Cuddigan
SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska