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By itself, borderline intellectual functioning doesn’t constitute a disability according to the Social Security Administration. However, it’s not uncommon for this type of cognitive impairment to combine with other limitations in such a way that an individual will still be eligible for disability benefits.

In situations where a person has an IQ score between 71 and 84 – in other words, below average but not low enough to be considered incapacitating – it might be tempting to omit hard IQ test results when building a claim.

Remember: results from the applicant’s most recent IQ test are an important aspect of the claims process. If they aren’t included in the initial application, the disability examiner will request them once the claim reaches Disability Determination Services. Not including them may cast the applicant in a bad light.

Still, not handling borderline IQ score properly could lead to complications, so we’ll give you a few tips on how to present them in a SSI or SSDI claim.

  • Along with the score, be sure to include details about the standard deviation of the IQ test taken. Disability examiners are aware that some tests have higher rates of standard deviation than others, meaning that the applicant may test higher than their actual intelligence quotient—sometimes by as much as 15 points.
  • Also submit school records and statements from instructors, supervisors, and other individuals who have taught or managed the applicant.
  • Work with a Houston disability benefits attorney. Special circumstances can make the already frustrating process of applying for SSI or SSDI feel impossible. Working with a compassionate professional could make all the difference.

To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 800-800-6353today. Also, be sure to request a copy of our book, Social Security Disability: What You Need to Know available to you at no charge.

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Morgan & Weisbrod LLP

by Paul B. Burkhalter
Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.


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