Social Security Administration Eliminates Use Of the Term “Mental Retardation”

August 5, 2013

Mental health conditions are one of the leading reasons people file claims for Social Security Disability benefits today. Determining if a person’s mental health condition qualifies for such benefits can be affected by how the Social Security Administration (SSA) categorizes the condition. Furthermore, the wording of what conditions are eligible can have a significant impact on whether a claimant’s application is approved or denied.

In an effort to create a more clearly defined category for certain mental conditions, the SSA has eliminated the use of the term “Mental Retardation” from their vocabulary and have replaced the term with “intellectual disability”. According to an article published by the Austin Daily Herald, the move comes just three years after the passage of Rosa’s Law, which prohibited the use of the term in all federal statutes.

The SSA has clearly stated that the change will have no effect on the benefits an individual who was approved under the old term receives or on the approval of new claims.

The move is being considered noteworthy because the change came voluntarily and was not forced under Rosa’s Law.

The Social Security Disability Attorneys with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin are hopeful the change will be conducive to a better service by the agency to those who are most in need.

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