How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Social Security Disability and Lowered IQ

There is a concept involved in the Social Security Disability process known as premorbid IQ. How does it come into play in the disability decision process?

It typically applies to organic brain syndrome (i.e. traumatic brain injury, closed head injuries) and can potentially result in a disability approval for a claimant whose current measured IQ is not listing level (for mental retardation) but can be shown to have dropped at least 15 points since before their accident or illness (this would be their premorbid IQ score).

The problem with premorbid IQ scores, however, is that claimants/patients who have suffered a drop in IQ due to illness or injury may not have prior (a.k.a. premorbid) IQ scores on record. That, being the case, how can one demonstrate that a 15 point drop has occurred?. In reality, you can't.

However, I will point out that low lifelong IQ (mental retardation or borderline intellectual functioning) and lowered IQ as a result of an injury or disease process can potentially result in a awarding of disability benefits.

In the first example (mental retardation and borderline intellectual functioning), the issue would likely be whether or not the claimant has the ability to engage in SRRT's. What are these? The acronym stands for simple, routine, repetitive tasks.

Basically, an individual who files for disability and is unable to engage in such tasks will be judged to be disabled.

Regarding the second example (lowered IQ as a result of an injury or disease process), the focus of the adjudicator, or decision maker, will be whether or not the claimant will retain the ability to perform the type of work they have done in the past.

If the judgement is made that the claimant cannot return to one of the relevant jobs they have performed in the last 15 years (the relevant period), then the next determination will be whether or not the claimant will be able to perform some form of other work. And this determination will be based on the claimant's age, education, work skills, and physical or mental limitations.

Impaired intellectual functioning, of course, could potentially serve as a major factor in this determination, especially for older individuals (older claimants are considered to have fewer vocational options in the national economy and, for this reason, they often find it easier to win disability benefits than younger individuals).

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

When you file for disability and have both Mental and Physical Conditions
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
Disability and SSI Process for Mental Claims based on Mental Disorders
Social Security Disability and SSI Mental Claims and Criteria
Social Security Disability, SSI, Mental Disorders, and Functional Limitations
Are Disability Requirements Tougher For Mental Claims?
What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?
Social Security Disability, back pain, and sedentary, light, and medium work
Social Security Disability, SSI, and low IQ
Applying for disability with Schizophrenia
Can I get disability for Rheumatoid arthritis?
Social Security Disability, SSI, and autoimmune disorders
Can you get disability for ankylosing spondylitis?

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

Filing and applying for disability in Texas

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.