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Mental Retardation

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What is Mental Retardation?


Mental Retardation is a type of mental disorder characterized by significant problems with cognitive functioning and adaptive behaviors that appear prior to adulthood (i.e. prior to age 22 in the Social Security Disability context). Most people with this condition do not look like they have any type of intellectual disability. There are, however, several common signs and symptoms, some of which might be present in children or adults with mental retardation:


Mental retardation is also characterized by low IQ scores. Historically, an IQ score of 70 or less is considered to be within the range of mental tetardation. The condition may be characterized as mild, moderate, or severe.

Keep in mind that even mild mental retardation can contribute to a finding of disability, because the Social Security Administration (SSA) takes multiple factors into account and level of education is an important part of their consideration.

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Mental Retardation and Social Security Disability


In an effort to speed up the process for the strongest and most clear cut disability applications, the SSA created a list of medical conditions and standards of proof that are commonly called the "Listings." If your condition either perfectly matches or is the equivalent of one of the Listings, then you are presumed to be disabled. Keep in mind that the Listings have very strict standards, and most people who win Social Security Disability benefits do not win this way.

Mental Retardation is something of an exception to this general rule, as it is much more common for people with this condition to meet or equal the Mental Retardation Listing.

In terms of supporting evidence, we recommend:


Call us (518)-377-4204 We understand that the Social Security Disability determination process can be confusing, frustrating, and at times even overwhelming - especially if you are caring for someone with intellectual deficits.

To discuss your SSD claim or appeal, please call (518) 377-4204 or use our contact page.

The initial consultation is free, and we never charge a fee until we win your case.



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