March 16, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- For those who are unable to work due to a disability, Social Security Disability
payments provide a much-needed lifeline. Social Security Disability, or SSD, is available to individuals with both physical and mental impairments. With the publication of a new proposed administrative rule, the Social Security Administration hopes to better serve the public by being more sensitive to those suffering from mental disabilities.
All references to "mental retardation" will be changed
More than two years ago, Congress required that the term "intellectual disability" be used in place of "mental retardation" in all federal health, education and labor policy. This requirement did not apply to the Social Security Administration, however.
In early 2013, the SSA finally moved to follow the lead of Congress. "Advocates for individuals with intellectual disability have rightfully asserted that the term 'mental retardation' has negative connotations, has become offensive to many people, and often results in misunderstandings about the nature of the disorder and those who have it," said the SSA in the proposed rule published in the Federal Register.
The 30-day public comment period on the proposed rule has just passed, and it looks as though the rule will move forward. When it is finalized, all references to "mental retardation" within the SSA's Listing of Impairments and other rules will be changed to "intellectual disability." In addition, "mentally retarded children" will be replaced with "children with intellectual disability."
The language changes are not meant to alter the way SSD claims are evaluated for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Proving the existence of mental disabilities can be a challenge
Intellectual disability is just one of many mental issues that can entitle you to Social Security Disability benefits. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are examples of other mental health issues that can lead to a disability finding.
Proving that you have a mental disability
can be particularly challenging, because mental disabilities are not always as obvious as their physical counterparts. The SSA may deny your claim for disability benefits if you cannot provide detailed medical evidence. This may include treatment notes from a psychiatrist or psychologist, a record of taking prescribed medications and examples of how your mental condition prevents you from working.
If your claim for Social Security Disability has been denied, you should not panic; many claims that are ultimately proven legitimate are initially denied. A Social Security Disability attorney can tell you more about your right to benefits and will help you build a strong case.
Article provided by Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera, L.L.P.
Visit us at www.ssdlawcalifornia.com/---
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