With sufficient severity, a personality or impulse control disorder may qualify an induvial to receive Social Security disability benefits. Like all disability claims, the limitations imposed by the personality or impulse control disorder must have lasted or be expected to last for a period of 12 months. There are two possible avenues for becoming approved for disability benefits for this type of disorder. First, you can demonstrate through medical records and testimony at your hearing that the symptoms relating to your disorder will render you unable to perform your past work or other work. This will generally require the judge to accept that you will be unable to tolerate the human interaction, routine changes, or criticism inherent in such work or that you will be rendered “off-task” in the workplace to an unacceptable degree. Conversely, it is also possible to qualify for benefits by meeting or equaling the criteria of a “Listing”. The regulations followed by the Social Security Administration establish listed disorders or groups of disorders and establish clinical and diagnostic criteria for each that, if met, should lead to a finding that the individual is disabled. The applicable listing for personality and impulse control disorders is listing 12.08, which requires the following:
- Medical documentation of a pervasive pattern of one or more of the following:
- Distrust and suspiciousness of others;
- Detachment from social relationships;
- Disregard for and violation of the rights of others;
- Instability of interpersonal relationships;
- Excessive emotionality and attention seeking;
- Feelings of inadequacy;
- Excessive need to be taken care of;
- Preoccupation with perfectionism and orderliness; or
- Recurrent, impulsive, aggressive behavioral outbursts.
- Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning.
- Understand, remember, or apply information.
- Interact with others.
- Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace.
- Adapt or manage oneself.
A skilled attorney will know how to employ a “Listings” argument and how to present your case to the judge at the hearing.