Mental Disorders

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Social Security Disability

Mental Disorders


A great majority of the disability claims which pass through our office are associated with Mental Disorders.

Psychiatric disorders (mental disorders) fall into 3 general categories:

  1. Mental Retardation
  2. Organic Mental Disorders
  3. Severe Psychiatric Illness

Mental Retardation centers primarily on IQ testing. People who have IQ values of 60 and below automatically qualify for disability and people with IQ values of 70 and below, along with other issues, will usually have a chance of being approved for disability.

Organic Mental Disorders defines a person who has a physical condition which could be caused from an accident, genetics, or a disease process which makes them no longer able to function for a variety of reasons.

Severe Psychiatric Illness refers to a condition which has developed during life such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or related conditions.

When handling cases based on Mental Disorders, the critical question concerns how badly the disorder affects the person’s functioning and whether that disorder is so severe as to preclude substantial gainful employment either singly or in combination with other mental or physical impairments the claimant may have. The severity of the symptoms are noted to be in one of 6 categories:

  1. None
  2. Slight
  3. Moderate
  4. Marked
  5. Extreme
  6. Insufficient Evidence

In order to have a viable disability claim one must be able to show either through the medical evidence or through the mental health testing that they at least have some problem which would register in the “marked” or “extreme” category. “Moderate” psychiatric problems, although they can often be a factor, are seldom sufficient to win a disability claim by themselves.

Another factor to be considered regarding Mental Disorders is whether or not there are repeated episodes of decompensation of extended duration. Decompensation is the deterioration of the mental health of an individual which leads to a lessened ability to engage in normal daily activities. Three or more periods of decompensation in one year or psychiatric hospitalizations lasting more than 2 weeks may qualify one for Social Security Disability.

At Drummond Disability, we integrate I.Q. Testing along with the appropriate medical documentation to establish a winnable disability claim. If you have any questions on this matter or have any other issues, do not hesitate to contact Drummond Disability at 800-842-0426.

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