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An individual may not qualify for Social Security disability benefits through the SSA’s strict definition of intellectual disability, though that doesn’t mean he or she is able to find or keep sufficient full time work.

Borderline Intellectual Functioning

The classification Borderline Intellectual Functioning (BIF) refers to people who have below-average intelligence and difficulty with mental functions such as learning, planning, and abstract thinking. Though the IQ score for a person with BIF can be several points higher than someone with an intellectual disability – usually falling in the 71 to 84 range – issues of this nature often combine with other physical or mental limitations that could make disability benefits necessary.

An individual with BIF may be able to qualify for disability benefits if they are able to demonstrate medical evidence that they also have serious problems with several of the following:

  • Performing multiple tasks
  • Planning and time management
  • Concentration and focus
  • Interacting with the general public and coworkers
  • Retaining and following instructions
  • Finishing basic tasks in a reasonable time frame
  • Successfully completing tasks without intensive support from supervisors
  • Making sound decisions independently

When building a Social Security disability benefits application for this type of issue, it’s important to collect as much supporting evidence as possible. Besides medical documentation and IQ test results, consider appropriate testimonials from teachers, supervisors, and other authorities who have experience with the applicant’s impairments.

Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to successfully file a claim with this type of special circumstance without the legal guidance of a skilled Houston disability attorney. If you have questions or need help dealing with a Social Security disability benefits appeal, contact us today at 800-800-6353to schedule a no-cost consultation.

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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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