How would memory impairment be classified when seeking benefits?

When a Florida resident has a memory impairment, he or she might not be aware of the requirements that must be met to be awarded Social Security disability. In fact, many might not know that a memory issue would fall under mental disorders. Because of that, it’s important to know the criteria that must be met when seeking Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. A memory problem would be one of the issues that would fall under organic mental disorders.

With abnormal behavioral or psychological issues linked to the brain, there must be diagnostic evidence in place in order to receive disability benefits. Tests in a laboratory, a physical examination and the history of the patient will all play a part in gauging the claimant’s abilities and and whether the accompanying disorders warrant benefits.

There are three categories designated by the letters A, B and C. A claimant must meet the requirements in A and B combined or in C individually to receive approval.

Memory impairment falls into category A. It must be short-term, intermediate or long-term. For short-term, the claimant must unable to learn new forms of information. For long-term, it must be characterized by the inability to recall information that had been known previously. Other problems in category A are disorientation, hallucinations, personality changes, mood disturbances, emotional unpredictability, and a marked reduction in I.Q. levels.

For B, there must be restriction of daily living, social functioning, concentrating or decompensating.

In category C, there must be a history that has been documented medically with at least two years of limited ability to perform work activities accompanied by signs controlled by medication or psychological treatment. There must be repeated decompensation for an extended period; residual disease in which marginal changes or raising of intellectual demands or alterations to environment that would lead to decompensation; and one year or more of being unable to function apart from being in a highly supported living situation.

If an individual is suffering from memory loss, then there is the possibility that it is linked to organic mental disorders. To accrue information as to whether there is the chance that this memory impairment meets the requirements to receive disability benefits, speaking to a qualified legal professional can provide clarity and assistance.

Source:, “Organic mental disorders,” accessed on Dec. 30, 2014


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