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Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits


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Facts about Mental retardation and Filing for Disability




 
1) The term ‘mental retardation’ is being used less and less in North America. Many people prefer to use alternative and less insulting terms, such as developmental disability or intellectual disability. Even the non-profit organization that advocates for those with mental retardation changed their name in 2006 from the American Association on Mental Retardation, to the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

2) To be diagnosed with mental retardation a child must meet certain criteria. First, they must have an IQ of less than 70. Second, they must show limitations in their adaptive behavior by falling into at least two of the three categories: social skills, communication skills, and daily living skills. Third and lastly, there must be evidence that the limitations in IQ and adaptive skills were present before the age of 18 years old.

3) An IQ between 70-80 suggests borderline intellectual functioning, an IQ of 50-69 suggests mild mental retardation, an IQ of 35-49 falls into moderate mental retardation, and an IQ of 20-34 is labeled severe mental retardation. If an IQ is below 20 it is categorized as profound mental retardation.

4) The most common causes of mental retardation present at birth are fetal alcohol syndrome, Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome. Other common causes are genetic conditions, problems during pregnancy or during birth, exposure to toxins or certain diseases, iodine deficiency, and malnutrition.

5) Mental retardation is a disability, not a disease.

6) There are countless agencies that provide a wide variety of assistance to people with mental retardation. From privately run agencies and state-run agencies, to non-profit and for-profit agencies, there are many different ways to get help.

7) There are no medications specifically for mental retardation.

8) The goal of assistance for mental retardation is independence. Depending upon the level of mental retardation, independence may mean independence while getting dressed or brushing one's teeth, or independence living alone or raising a family.


Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?

Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).

It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).

Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?

Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:

1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;

2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;

3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.















Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions





























Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI


These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria