An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

Intellectually impaired loved ones aren’t guaranteed disability

On Behalf of | May 1, 2020 | Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Conditions

The terminology “mental retardation” isn’t used as often in the United States now as it once was. The terms that are more commonly utilized to refer to these types of individuals include “developmentally disabled” and “intellectually impaired”. Persons with certain types of mental disabilities may qualify to receive Social Security Disability (SSD).

An individual must have an intellectual quotient (IQ) of less than 70 and must have limited social, communication or daily living skills and abilities to qualify as intellectually impaired. That same person must have adaptive skills limitations and the onset of their condition must have been evident before they turned 18 to be classified as such.

There are different levels of intellectual impairment. If a person has an IQ between 70 and 80, then they are considered to have borderline intellectual functioning. An individual with an IQ of between 50 and 69 may be considered mildly intellectually impaired. A person with an IQ that falls between 35 and 49 is considered moderately intellectually impaired.

Individuals with an IQ that falls between 20 and 34 are generally diagnosed as being severely intellectually impaired. Anyone with an IQ that falls below 20 is often classified as being profoundly intellectually impaired.

Intellectual impairment is considered a disability and not a disease. Some common reasons for the development of this condition include fetal alcohol, Down or Fragile X syndromes. Intellectual impairment may also be caused by a genetic condition, complications during pregnancy or delivery, exposure to toxins, malnutrition or an iodine deficiency.

While it may seem that someone who’s intellectually impaired would qualify for SSD, that’s not guaranteed. Reviewers tend to evaluate each case on its own merits. The Social Security Administration often reviews an applicant’s medical records, their work history, how their limitations affect their daily life before determining whether an applicant may be able to become gainfully employed.

Qualifying for SSD as a mentally impaired individual can be a challenging uphill battle. This is especially the case if an applicant doesn’t adequately document their impairment. A Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions attorney who provides qualified help for disabled people can advocate for you. Your Oklahoma City lawyer can aid you in properly preparing your application and supporting documents so that you have the best possible chance of being approved for benefits.