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Can Those with Low IQ Qualify for SSD Benefits?

Can Those with Low IQ Qualify for SSD Benefits?

Everyone’s level of intelligence is different, but for those who have a lower intelligence quotient (IQ), life can prove more difficult. Whether one’s low IQ is caused by a learning disorder, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), oxygen deprivation, a stroke, or any other contributing factor, individuals with a lower IQ often struggle to find substantial employment – or even employment at all.

Since there are not enough jobs for individuals who have a lower IQ, it can make it very difficult for these individuals to make enough money to make ends meet and survive. For this reason, those who have lower IQ and are unable to work can apply to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

SSD Benefit Requirements for those with Lower IQ

In order for an individual with a lower IQ to receive SSD benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA), which is responsible for SSD, requires that these individuals meet specific requirements. One such requirement is that the individual who has a lower IQ must have had a low IQ prior to age 22.

There are various ways in which someone can demonstrate that he or she had a low IQ prior to this age, such as by providing medical documents, mandated IQ test results, or special education classes that were registered for and attended.

Generally, there is some way in which it can be proven that an individual had a low IQ before turning 22. However, even if there were no proof to be presented, it doesn’t automatically make the individual ineligible. Rather, the SSA has the burden of proving that the individual did not have the same IQ issues before age 22 according to an IQ test.

Furthermore, without any evidence of a traumatic event after the age of 22, there is a rebuttable presumption that one’s IQ does not significantly change from before the age of 22 to the present.

Issues with Adaptive Functioning

Adaptive functioning issues can also be considered when determining whether an individual qualifies for SSD benefits. Adaptive functioning is the ability to adjust to various situations and to take care of what is necessary. If someone has a lot of job losses during a relatively short period of time, or if he or she has been unable to graduate high school, or is unable to adequately take care of him or herself, it can be demonstrative of issues with adaptive functioning.

For someone to qualify for SSD benefits due to low IQ, he or she must be able to show an extreme limitation or a marked limitation in two of the following areas of mental functioning:

The ability to:

  • Take care of oneself;
  • Understand, remember, or use information;
  • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace; and/or
  • Interact with others.

The NYC SSD Attorneys at Seelig Law Offices, LLC Can Help

When you or a loved one suffers from a disability that prevents you from being able to work, you may not know how you will make ends meet or what to do next. Luckily, the attorneys at Seelig Law Offices, LLC can help. We understand how your disability can impact your life and the lives of those you love. That’s why we’re here to help you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

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