What is Mental Retardation?

Mental Retardation (sometimes abbreviated to “MR”)  is a type of mental disorder characterized by significant problems with cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviors that appear prior to adulthood (i.e. prior to age 22 in the Social Security disability context).  Most people with this condition do not “look” like they have any type of intellectual disability.  There are, however, several common signs and symptoms, some of which might be present in children or adults with Mental Retardation:

  • Problems with memory
  • Difficulty learning social rules, acting appropriately around people, or controlling impulsive behavior
  • Difficulty with problem solving
  • Delays and problems with learning to care for yourself or develop practical skills

Mental Retardation is also characterized by low IQ scores.  Historically, an IQ score of 70 or less is considered to be within the range of Mental Retardation.  The condition may be characterized as “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe.”  Keep in mind that even “mild” Mental Retardation could be disabling.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call us at (215) 464-7200 or email the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.

 

Social Security Disability Determination

Listing 12.05 (Mental Retardation)

In an effort to speed up the process for the strongest and most clear cut disability applications, SSA created a list of medical conditions and standards of proof that are commonly called the “Listings.”  If your condition either perfectly matches or is the equivalent of one of the Listings, then you are presumed to be disabled.  Keep in mind that the Listings have very strict standards, and most people who win Social Security disability benefits do not win this way.

Mental Retardation is something of an exception to this general rule, as it is much more common for people with this condition to meet or equal the Mental Retardation Listing.

In terms of supporting evidence, we recommend:

  1. A valid IQ score of 70 or below.
  2. School records (sometimes these contain the IQ scores, but regardless they also help to show cognitive and adaptive deficits during childhood).
  3. Statements from people who know the affected person and how limited their mental functioning and activities are.

To discuss SSD and SSI claims or appeals, please call us at (215) 464-7200 or email the attorneys of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.