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Qualifying mental conditions and assessment of severity

For St. Louis residents who are having mental issues, Social Security disability for mental conditions is an option that should be considered. Qualifying mental conditions for disability vary, but when the assessment is made, there are four criteria that the Social Security Administration will use to determine whether to grant benefits to the claimant or not. They are: activities of daily living; social functioning; concentration, persistence or pace; and episodes of decompensation. The term "marked" is used to measure the amount of the claimant's limitation. It is considered less than extreme but greater than moderate. It will interfere with the person's ability to function as an independent person, with appropriate and effective results and to maintain it.

Activities of daily living refers to shopping, cooking, using public transportation, cleaning and other necessary parts of daily life. The person's circumstances will be examined and their ability to perform these activities will be considered to see if they are independent, behave appropriately and effectively and can sustain it. Social functioning is the person's ability to interact with others on an independent basis and do so with propriety and effectiveness while sustaining it. For example, this includes getting along with family members, interacting with people in certain situations and others. Having frequent disputes can be a sign of impairment in social functioning.

Concentration, persistence or pace in sustaining and focusing attention and concentration for a sufficient amount of time to complete tasks that normally arise in work settings. This is observed during work situations, but it can also be seen through examinations by medical professionals. The inability to work and complete tasks in the necessary time frame and repeat those actions while adhering to the standards of production will be an indicator of concentration, persistence or pace.

Episodes of decomposition are when the symptoms will temporary exacerbate with the decline in adaptive function. The person will have problems with the maintenance of social relationships and being able to perform daily activities. The periods of time that these can last refer to three episodes in one year with each lasting for a minimum two weeks.

Those who are suffering from a mental disorder and are having issues functioning in social and professional settings might be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. For help with a claim and understanding the criteria, speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in disability claims can help.

Source: ssa.gov, "12.00 Mental Disorders -- C. Assessment of severity," accessed on Jan. 2, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

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Phone: 314-925-0242
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