A mental impairment, whether standing alone or accompanying a physical impairment, is a critical factor in how Social Security decides whether you are disabled (unable to be gainfully employed).
Social Security’s Program Operations Manual System (POMS) states that if you lack any of the five mental abilities listed below (which are needed for all jobs) you will be classified as disabled.
THE 5 MENTAL ABILITIES THAT EVERY WORKER MUST HAVE:
- The ability to understand and carry out short and simple instructions
- The ability to maintain concentration and attention for 2-hour segments
- The ability to perform work at a consistent pace and complete activities within a schedule, maintain regular attendance, and be punctual
- The ability to accept instructions and respond appropriately to criticism from supervisors
- The ability to get along with coworkers without distracting them or exhibiting inappropriate behavior
In our practice, we always send a questionnaire concerning these and other mental abilities to our clients’ treating doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists. Once completed, we file them with Social Security, as part of the claim record to support a finding of disability.
Assisting clients with Social Security Disability filings and appeals, especially in cases that include one’s mental abilities requires a thorough understanding of the law and the system. Here are tips on what to look for when selecting an attorney.