Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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SSD benefits, mental illness, ADL and social functioning at work

For Missourians suffering from mental illness, the problems that accompany it can be so severe that they are unable to work and require Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. Getting approved for SSD benefits will naturally entail meeting the requirements. When a person has been diagnosed with a medically determinable impairment, they are on the way to getting an approval. However, there are other steps that are important. That includes the Social Security Administration determining if the impairment(s) impact the person's ability to work enough so they can be approved. Part of that is assessing the functional areas that people need to work.

There are four functional areas that the SSA deems as essential to a person being able to work: ADL, or activities of daily living; social functioning; concentration, persistence or pace; and being able to handle a rise in mental demands that go along with a competitive working environment. There are many subsets for ADL that a person must be able to do such as riding public transportation, paying their bills, overseeing their home, proper grooming and hygienic practices, going shopping, cleaning and more. There are five areas in which ADL and socialization will need documentation to determine if the person can work: appropriateness; independence; sustainability; quality; and effectiveness.

With appropriateness, the person will be expected to do his or her daily activities and be able to engage in social interactions suitably or compatibly based on the environment. Independence relates to doing the necessary activities and engaging in social interactions autonomously or in a self-starting manner without needing to be supervised from moment to moment with proper participation. Sustainability is when the person does his or her duties and takes part in social interactions during the normal course of a day or week without distractions or interruptions. Quality and effectiveness can be classified similarly. This means that the person does what he or she needs to do during the day in a routine manner and is useful and consistent.

While the problems afflicting a person with mental illness might not be clear to the naked eye, that does not mean they do not exist. Those who are suffering from these issues could have hindrances in even the most basic tasks. Working could be something they are plainly and simply incapable of doing or can only do in a protected environment. When the SSA decides on a case, it is important to understand the criteria and how ADL and social functioning are considered. A law firm that is skilled in helping people apply for and get Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions can provide representation for a case.

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

Toll Free: 800-652-5775
Phone: 314-925-0242
Fax: 314-727-5297
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