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Receiving Social Security disability for mental retardation

A common concern for people in Kissimmee and across the state is whether or not a person who is suffering from a mental disorder or intellectual disability such as mental retardation will be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions are similar to any other issue that would lead to a person applying for and receiving benefits. There are certain criteria that must be met in order to be granted benefits for qualifying mental conditions.

When discussing an intellectual disability, it refers to a person who is substantially below average with intellectual functioning. There might be difficulty in adapting and it begins to manifest itself during development up to the age of 22. In order to receive benefits for this level of mental disorder, the claimant must meet the requirements in one of four categories listed as A, B, C or D.

For A, the person must show mental incapacity by being dependent on others for basic needs. These include using the toilet, needing to be fed, getting dressed or bathing. The person must also be unable to follow directions making standard methods used to determine intellect useless. For B, There must be a determination that the person’s IQ is measured at 59 or lower. For C, the IQ must be determined to be between 60 and 70 and there must also be a mental or physical impairment that will impose a greater and substantial work limitation. In category D, the person must show a minimum of two of the following: being restricted in daily activities; difficulty functioning socially; difficulty concentrating, persisting or pacing; or repetitive incidences of decompensating for an extended period.

When there is a family member who is suffering from mental retardation or a similar mental disorder, there are frequently worries as to how that individual will be cared for in the event that there isn’t a family member available to help. It can be costly to care for a person in need of the assistance required for certain qualifying mental conditions. Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions are in place to help those who have these issues. To understand how to pursue these benefits a qualified legal professional can be of help.

Source:, “Intellectual Disability,” accessed on Dec. 1, 2014



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