CHANGES IN THE MENTAL HEALTH LISTINGS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY
The Social Security Administration issued changes to the Listing section 12.00 Mental Disorders for Adults effective in January of 2017.
A few of the most significant changes occurred in the following Listings:
Listing 12.02 for Neurocognitive Disorders. This has been renamed from Organic Mental Disorders, and has a new list of areas of functioning and limitations. You must now have a medically documented decline in at least 1 of 6 cognitive areas, AND had one extreme or 2 marked limitations in 1 of the 4 areas of mental functioning.
Listing 12.04 for Depressive, bipolar and related Disorders. Previously known as Affective Disorders. This listing now requires five or more of the signs and symptoms of depressive disorder, and three or more of the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder along with an extreme or two marked areas of mental functioning.
Listing 12.05 for Intellectual Disorders. This listing contains significant changes to evaluating a person with any intellectual disorder. 12.05A no longer contains an IQ score requirement, but rather focuses on an inability to participate in testing, AND significant deficits in adaptive functioning, AND that the level of functioning history existed prior to age 22. 12.05B now requires the satisfaction of 3 different areas, as listing 12.05C has been rescinded. An individual must now have a full scale IQ of 70 or below or a full scale IQ of 71-75 accompanied by a verbal or performance IQ score of 70 or below. Additionally, you must have one extreme or two marked limitations in the areas of mental functioning, AND evidence that this existed prior to age 22. The disorders that are evaluated in this category may be described in the evidence as intellectual disability, intellectual developmental disorder, or historically used terms such as “mental retardation.”
Listing 12.06 for Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive Disorders. This listing now has separate and new characterizations for anxiety disorder which an individual must meet three or more of the listed criteria. Panic disorders and Obsessive-compulsive disorders must meet one or both of the newly listed criteria AND have an extreme or two marked limitations in areas of mental functioning.
Listing 12.07, 12.08 and 12.11 has different criteria to evaluate the satisfaction of the listings, but in general did not significantly change the evaluations for Somatic Disorders and Personality Disorders and Autism spectrum disorders. These listings do require the extreme or marked limitations in the new areas of mental functioning.
Listing 12.09 for substance addiction has been rescinded from the listings.
Listing 12.11 has been added as a new listing to evaluate Neurodevelopmental disorders. Examples of disorders in this category include specific learning disorders, borderline intellectual functioning, and tic disorders (such as Tourette syndrome). These disorders are characterized by onset during the developmental period, that is, during childhood or adolescence, although sometimes they are not diagnosed until adulthood.
Listing 12.13 has been added as a new listing to evaluate Eating disorders. Examples of disorders in this category include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and avoidant/restrictive food disorder.
Listing 12.15 has been added as a new listing to evaluate Trauma and stressor-related disorders. An individual must meet all of the 5 criteria and have an extreme or two marked limitations in the areas of mental functioning. Examples of disorders that in this category include post -traumatic stress disorder and other specified trauma- and stressor-related disorders (such as adjustment-like disorders with prolonged duration without prolonged duration of stressor).
Additionally, mental functioning guidelines have changed to include the ability to “adapt or manage oneself”. This area of mental functioning refers to the abilities to regulate emotions, control behavior, and maintain well-being in a work setting. This criteria was not previously required in mental health functioning.
Some of the criteria for satisfaction of the above noted new listings are significantly more up to date with the current mental health providers’ notes, indications and limitations that are assessed to people suffering from mental health disorders. Some of the listings will impact current claims who may have met Social Security guidelines under the old rules.
If you are disabled due to a mental health disorder and in need of assistance navigating the disability process, call one of the experienced disability attorneys at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 for a free consultation. Gardberg & Kemmerly specialize in helping the injured and disabled.