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How does Social Security evaluate neurodevelopmental disorders?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2021 | Firm News

You may be one of a number of people suffering from a mental disorder that impairs your ability to make a living. Some mental disorders, called neurodevelopmental disorders, affect a person’s cognitive abilities or behavior. Tourette Syndrome is one example. If you suffer from one of these conditions, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability.

Like any mental disorder, the Social Security Administration has criteria it uses to determine if someone is sufficiently disabled enough to need benefits. The SSA website provides some information that may help you build a case that you need disability.

Problems with behavior and attention

As part of your request for benefits, you should supply medical documents that demonstrate certain deficiencies, such as whether you have recurrent actions in motor movement or vocalization. You might also have trouble retaining academic lessons and using what you have learned.

Your condition may make you hyperactive, a condition that makes it hard for you to sit down and pay attention. You might talk more than people would in a given situation. Also, you could be prone to distraction. Sustaining your attention on tasks may prove difficult or seemingly impossible. The SSA will evaluate these symptoms as part of determining your eligibility.

Problems with cognition and comprehension

The SSA will also want to know how your disorder affects cognitive functions. The SSA will consider your condition for benefits if you have an extreme limitation in one or a marked limitation in at least two of the following areas:

  • Understanding, recalling or applying information
  • Interacting with other people
  • Concentration, persistence or continuing your pace
  • Your ability to adapt or manage yourself

A neurodevelopmental disorder affects people in different ways, so it is possible you may process information well but have severe problems talking to other people. Regardless, even deficiencies in a few of these areas may make it difficult to hold down a job. Documenting any significant symptom could be a critical part of your application.