Changes to How SSA Examines Mental Disabilities

Changes to How SSA Examines Mental DisabilitiesAs of January 17, 2017, SSA is updating their criteria for determining whether or not someone is disabled due to a mental or emotional impairment.

The new criteria have more specific examples and are better defined, helping claimants get statements from their treating doctors in order to help their claims. The new areas are:

  1. Understanding, remembering, or applying information;
    Examples: Following oral instructions, identifying problems and solving them, using reason and judgment, learning new work activities.
  2. Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace;
    Examples: working at an appropriate and consistent pace, ignoring distractions, sustaining ordinary routines and regular attendance and working a full day without extra breaks or rest periods, initiating and performing tasks you know how to do.
  3. Interacting with others; and
    Examples: cooperating with others, asking for help when needed, understanding and responding to social cues, handling conflicts, responding to criticism appropriately.
  4. Adapting or managing oneself.
    Examples: regulating emotions and controlling behavior in the work setting, adapting to work changes, making plans, maintaining personal hygiene, recognizing normal hazards and taking appropriate precautions.

Post written by: Jennifer Scherf