Meeting the Standard for Intellectual Disorder in Order to Qualify for Social Security Disability

If you are advocating for a family member or close friend with intellectual disorder, you’re probably familiar with the incredible hardships people with this condition face in obtaining and keeping sustainable employment.

The few jobs available to a person with intellectual disorder are very typically limited hours at or near minimum wage. That’s not the only difficulty: problems with mobility, self-care, and obtaining an appropriate level of supervision at the workplace could mean that for some individuals, maintaining any job may require an amount of support from his or her caregivers that will quickly become unreasonable.

Fortunately, Social Security offers SSI or SSDI for people who qualify.

What is Social Security’s standard for intellectual disorder?

An individual who has intellectual disorder according to the SSA must satisfy parts “A” or “B”:

  1. Satisfied by 1, 2, and 3 (see 12.00H):
    1. Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evident in your cognitive inability to function at a level required to participate in standardized testing of intellectual functioning
    2. Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by your dependence upon others for personal needs (for example, toileting, eating, dressing, or bathing)
    3. The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22

OR

  1. Satisfied by 1, 2, and 3 (see 12.00H):
    1. Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evidenced by a or b:
      1. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence
      2. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 71-75 accompanied by a verbal or performance IQ score (or comparable part score) of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence
    2. Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
      1. Understand, remember, or apply information
      2. Interact with others
      3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace
      4. Adapt or manage oneself
    3. The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22

Obviously, intellectual disorder isn’t as easily measured as physical disabilities. Persuading Social Security to grant benefits to a person who needs them can be difficult even for someone with a great deal of knowledge about how the claim process works. It may be in your best interests to work with a compassionate Lincoln disability attorney before filing an initial application for SSI or SSDI.

For a free case evaluation, contact Cuddigan Law by calling 402-933-5405 or 402 261-4005 or emailing [email protected]. Don’t forget to ask for our free booklet, Give Yourself the Best Chance of Winning Your Social Security Disability Case. We meet with clients by appointment at 3800 Normal Blvd., Ste 201, Lincoln, NE 68506.