The Social Security Administration does consider a low I.Q. or mental retardation as disabling, although proving disability will require medical documentation which outlines the claimant’s decreased mental functioning.
The claimant must also have seen the proper medical doctors and taken the appropriate tests to prove they have difficulty performing routine, simple and repetitive tasks.
According to the Social Security Administration’s Listing of Impairments or Blue Book, Mental Retardation is found under section 12.05 Mental Retardation.
12.05 Mental retardation:
Mental retardation refers to significantly below average general intellectual functioning with deficits in adaptive functioning initially manifested during the developmental period. The evidence demonstrates or supports onset of the impairment before age 22.
The required level of severity for this disorder is met when the requirements in A, B, C, or D are satisfied.
A. Mental incapacity evidenced by dependence upon others for personal needs (e.g., toileting, eating, dressing, or bathing) and inability to follow directions, such that the use of standardized measures of intellectual functioning is precluded;
B. A valid verbal, performance, or full scale IQ of 59 or less;
C. A valid verbal, performance, or full scale IQ of 60 through 70 and a physical or other mental impairment imposing an additional and significant work-related limitation of function;
D. A valid verbal, performance, or full scale IQ of 60 through 70, resulting in at least two of the following:
1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or
3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.
Keep in mind, meeting this listing will require proof that your mental retardation existed prior to the age of 22. This can be done with IQ exams, evidence of attendance in special education classes or school records.
If you do not meet this listing you may be able to prove that your IQ is very low and that, combined with other mental health conditions, it severely limits your ability to work. For example, if you have a very low IQ and a very limiting physical condition, this may severely limit your ability to work.
Additionally, the listing above only relates to mental retardation, the SSA does have other listings that may more clearly define your mental health disorder.
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