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Intellectual Impairments and Disability Benefits

There are a couple of ways that individuals with intellectual impairments may be found eligible for disability benefits by Social Security. Such individuals may demonstrate though a combination of medical records from accepted medial sources and through their own testimony or the testimony of friends or family that they are unable to perform any work, at least on a full time basis.

Conversely, individuals who can satisfy the following “Listing” criteria from the Social Security “blue book” can be found disabled without necessarily needing to give testimony or demonstrate an inability to work. This can be accomplished through evidence that establishes the following, pursuant to Listing 12.05:

1.Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evident in your cognitive inability to function at a level required to participate in standardized testing of intellectual functioning; and
2.Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by your dependence upon others for personal needs (for example, toileting, eating, dressing, or bathing); and
3.The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22.

OR

  1. Satisfied by 1, 2, and 3:
    1. Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning evidenced by a or b:
      1. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence; or
      2. A full scale (or comparable) IQ score of 71-75 accompanied by a verbal or performance IQ score (or comparable part score) of 70 or below on an individually administered standardized test of general intelligence; and
    2. Significant deficits in adaptive functioning currently manifested by extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
      1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1); or
      2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2); or
      3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3); or
      4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4); and
    3. The evidence about your current intellectual and adaptive functioning and about the history of your disorder demonstrates or supports the conclusion that the disorder began prior to your attainment of age 22

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