Families who have a loved one with an intellectual disorder such as mental retardation will understand the difficulties that inevitably arise. For residents of Newark and throughout New Jersey, receiving Social Security disability benefits can be invaluable to help that person. When applying for disability benefits, however, it is important to understand how the Disability Determination Services and the Social Security Administration will document and evaluate the intellectual disorder and its severity. This is critical when filing for disability benefits as a failure to provide the necessary information can lead to the claim being denied even if the benefits are warranted.

For intellectual disorder, there are three elements: general intellectual functioning that is significantly sub-average; current adaptive functioning with significant deficits; and the disorder having manifested before the person turned 22. The person’s intellectual functioning hinges on their ability to reason, learn, plan, solve problems and to handle other basic cognitive necessities. The inability to meet these requirements will be determined by standardized intelligence testing. The person’s intelligence quotient (IQ) will be used to make these determinations.

A qualified specialist will give the tests. That person must have the credentials to give the test, score it and interpret it. The SSA will assume that the IQ accurately reflects the applicant’s ability to function. There could be evidence in the record that says otherwise. The test administrator might say that the score does not accurately reflect the person’s intellectual functioning. This could be due to other information regarding daily functioning and IQ scores that fell into different ranges.

The IQ tests are a key part of the assessment of a person who is applying for disability based on being intellectually disabled. However, there are other aspects that can be used when the determination is made. Since the tests are often a matter of subjective interpretation and other analysts could come to different conclusions, it is wise to have legal help when presenting evidence for disability and meeting the requirements for intellectual disorders. Mental issues can be difficult to gauge even for experts. Whether the application is for Social Security disability benefits for depression, mental retardation, anxiety or any other mental problem, the evidence is foundational. A law firm that has helped many people with disability for mental illness and disorders should be contacted for representation.