When a Kissimmee resident is having mental issues and believes that he or she will qualify for Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions, it can be confusing when trying to comprehend the requirements for an approval. Certain factors are taken into account when the Social Security Administration (SSA) decides whether the impairment is severe enough to warrant benefits. These include activities of daily living; social functioning; concentration, persistence or pace; and decompensation. This post will center on activities of daily living and social functioning.
When gauging the individual’s ability to complete activities of daily living, the SSA will evaluate the person’s ability to handle daily shopping, cleaning, cooking, riding on public transportation, paying the bills, maintaining a living quarters, adhering to appropriate grooming and hygiene, and being able to use various integral necessities of daily life. The individual’s circumstances will be studied and assessed based on the ability to function independently, how effective he or she is, and if it is sustainable. The SSA will then determine how well the person can function without another person supervising or directing them. The key issue centers around how much the mental issues interfere with performance.
For social functioning, the person’s ability to conduct independent, appropriate, effective and sustained interaction with others will be examined. This means that the SSA will examine the person’s ability to get along with other people like family members, neighbors, friends, those with whom one might interact when shopping, and civil servants. If there is a history of getting into disputes, being evicted, losing jobs, having a fear of strangers and avoiding relationships, it could be seen as a lack of social functioning. Other factors taken into account are being considerate to others, having a grasp of others’ feelings, and being socially mature. At a job, this will include adhering to hierarchy, dealing well with customers and interacting effectively with coworkers. Like the activities of daily living, this will not be based on numbers of behaviors, but by the nature of the problems that might or might not arise.
Those who are suffering from a mental illness that they believe meets the requirements to receive Social Security disability for mental conditions need to know about the various factors that go into the medical evaluation. Speaking to an attorney experienced in helping clients receive disability benefits can be helpful in moving forward with a claim.
Source: SSA.gov, “12.00 Mental Disorders — Adult — 1. Activities of daily living, 2. Social functioning,” accessed on March 28, 2016