Qualifying Mental Disabilities

Having a mental condition is not like having a broken leg. In the latter case, anyone can see how that would affect your ability to perform work-related activities. In a mental disability case, the impact on a person’s ability to work is often far less obvious.

When deciding whether or not people have qualifying mental disabilities, the Social Security Administration will look at four areas or domains of function. These are:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Social functioning
  • Concentration, persistence and pace
  • Adaptive functioning and decompensation

At Davis, Davis & Patterson in Rome, Georgia, we review these domains of functioning with clients and discuss how their mental impairments may affect their ability to perform work-related activities. We will also prepare you for the disability hearing and show you how to present the facts of your condition in the most effective way.

You can give a completely false picture of yourself without lying. For instance, the administrative law judge may look at “activities of daily living” and ask, “Can you tie your shoes, comb your hair and make your bed?”

Without guidance, you may be tempted to respond, “Of course I can,” and let it go at that. But if, for example, depression, bipolar disorder or another mental illness causes you to lie in bed all day and never actually perform any of these daily tasks, the judge may never know. You will have missed your opportunity for showing the judge exactly how your condition affects your life.

In the constellation of possibilities that the judge could focus on, our lawyers are here to direct the judge to the lodestar — the primary truth that affects your case. To arrange a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call Davis, Davis & Patterson at 706-622-4137 or send us an email.