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Getting Social Security Disability Benefits for a Neurocognitive Disorder

Neurocognitive disorders encompass a range of illnesses that cause a decrease in healthy cognitive function, such as the ability to think or plan. Many illnesses can contribute to neurocognitive disorders, including brain injuries, brain damage and dementia.

Though many illnesses can result in a neurocognitive disorder, when determining disability benefits, Social Security is concerned more with the loss of the ability to work than the specific disorder itself.

What Neurocognitive Disorders are Listed for Social Security?

The Social Security listing for neurocognitive disorders is 12.02. To get disability benefits for a neurocognitive disorder according to this listing, an applicant must have a cognitive decline in one or more of the following areas:

  • Short- or long-term memory
  • Use of language or grammar
  • Executive function, such as judgment, planning or impulse control
  • Listening and comprehending others
  • Hand-eye coordination or coordination with motor function
  • Social graces

If the applicant shows a decline in one or more of these areas, Social Security considers how these limitations affect normal work duties to determine eligibility for disability benefits. An applicant is deemed eligible if they show a severe limitation in two or more of the following areas:

  • Comprehending, remembering or applying information
  • Interacting with others
  • Concentrating on tasks
  • Controlling behavior and adapting to workplace changes

What Evidence Does Social Security Consider?

To determine eligibility, Social Security evaluates the applicant’s medical records from a primary care physician, neurologist or psychiatrist. If the severity of the neurocognitive disorder can’t be determined from the information in the medical records, Social Security may request a consultative evaluation by a Social Security psychiatrist.

Applicant should be sure to express limitations and concerns they have with the activities of daily living and work-related activities. It’s also recommended to bring a family member or caregiver to appointments to make sure that all limitations are covered.

Why You Should Hire a Disability Representative

Applying for disability with neurocognitive decline can be stressful and difficult, but the professional and caring staff at London Disability is here to guide you through the whole process. Contact us today for your consultation!

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