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Qualifying for Social Security Disability for Intellectual Disorder

October 17, 2018

exam on mental statusChildren and adults with intellectual disorder have severely limited intellectual functioning and will need a lot of help throughout their lives. Fortunately, you may be able to obtain Social Security Disability benefits to help mitigate these costs.

Request a free, no obligation consultation with our Phoenix Social Security Disability attorneys today and learn if your loved one may qualify for disability benefits.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for disability benefits for intellectual disorder, your loved one must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have notably below average general intellectual functioning, shown by cognitive inability to function at the level needed to participate in standardized testing for intellectual function
  • Have notable deficits in adaptive functioning, demonstrated by the need for others' help for personal care such as eating, dressing, bathing, or toileting
  • Have evidence regarding current intellectual and adaptive functioning as well as history of the disorder that supports that the disorder started before turning age 22

Your loved one may also qualify by meeting the following criteria:

  • Display below average general intellectual function demonstrated by a full-scale IQ test score of 70 or lower on individual standardized general intelligence tests or full-scale IQ score between 71 and 75 and a verbal or performance IQ score of 70 or lower on individual standardized general intelligence tests
  • Experience notable deficits in adaptive function causing extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two areas of mental functioning: understanding, remembering or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace; or adapting or managing oneself
  • Have evidence regarding current intellectual and adaptive functioning as well as history of the disorder that supports that the disorder started before turning 22 years of age

Eligibility for Children

Children with intellectual disorder, mental retardation or low IQ may qualify for disability benefits if their intellectual function severely limits their life. To qualify for benefits, children must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a full-scale IQ score of 70 or lower, or a full-scale IQ score between 71 and 75 with performance or verbal scores at 70 or lower
  • Experience extreme limitation in one or marked limitation in two of these areas:
    • Understanding, remembering or applying information, such as in the ability to learn concepts and terms, solve problems or follow instructions
    • Interaction with others, such as the ability to understand social cues, develop and maintain friendships, cooperate or handle conflict
    • Concentrating on tasks and maintaining pace, such as the ability to ignore or avoid distractions, timely completion of tasks or working with others without causing distraction
    • Managing oneself, such as the ability to regulate emotions, control behaviors, protect oneself from harm or keep up personal hygiene

Before January 27, 2017, child applicants with IQ scores below 60 were automatically approved for disability benefits regardless of limitations. Currently, children with IQ scores between 60 and 70 are not approved for benefits with only significant limitation that is caused by other physical or mental impairments.

If a child's incapacity is so great and intellectual functioning so below average that he or she cannot function well enough to undergo IQ testing, the child will automatically be granted benefits if he or she demonstrates such poor adaptive functioning that he or she is dependent on someone else for personal needs like eating, dressing, bathing or toileting. This applies if the impairment is in excess of the child's age-appropriate level of dependence.

Children and toddlers under age three are not granted benefits under the intellectual disorder disability listing due to difficulties in testing IQ in this age range. In these situations, the listing for Developmental Disorders Infants and Toddlers is used.

Contact Our Disability Lawyers for Help

The experienced disability attorneys of Dayes Law Firm PC are knowledgeable regarding the disability application process and qualifying criteria. We are ready to help your loved one access the benefits you may be entitled to.

Request a free, no obligation consultation today. There are no upfront fees and payment is only owed if we successfully recover compensation in your case.

Call 1-800-503-2000 or complete our Free Case Review form now.

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