What is an organic mental disorder?

People in Florida and across the country who are suffering from some form of mental illness need to understand that they might be eligible for Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. Before moving forward with a filing, however, it’s important to have a grasp on certain terms involved with filing, such as what an organic mental disorder is and whether or not they meet the criteria to be approved after filing for disability benefits. This is especially true with children.

An organic mental disorder denotes abnormal issues in affect, behavior, cognitive ability or perceptive ability linked to a brain dysfunction. Testing of the individual’s psychology or neuropsychology to determine whether there was an organic factor that contributed to the problems will be important in seeking benefits. There are two categories for the claimant to meet when the decision is made. Both A and B must be met.

In category A, there must be a mentally documented persistence of one of various different conditions. Some of these include: developmental regression, delay or arrest an impairment of the memory and mood disturbances.

For category B, the age group will be relevant. Infants from age 1 to 3 must have fine or gross motor development shown to be at a level commonly accrued by children not more than half of the child’s age. For children between the age of 3 to 18, there must be two of the following: an impairment of the appropriate cognitive functioning or age-appropriate functioning to be determined by medical findings through testing; an impairment in appropriate functioning for the age in social situations; impairment in age-appropriate personal functioning; and a difficulty to maintain pace, persistence or concentration.

When a person is concerned that their child or other loved one might be suffering from an organic mental disorder, Social Security disability for mental illness is an option that they should discuss with a lawyer experienced in these kinds of cases.

Source: SSA.gov, “Organic Mental Disorders,” accessed on Jan. 20, 2015


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