Cognitive impairments and qualifying for Social Security Disability

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2021 | Social Security Disability Claims

Cognitive impairments may impact a person’s memory, emotional well-being, and behavior, affecting an individual’s functional abilities at both home and work.

You may find it helpful to learn about the different cognitive impairments that exist. These each affect patients differently, so none of them have a definitive prognosis. 

Mild cognitive impairments

People with mild cognitive impairments may become fixated on carrying out repetitive activities, exhibit both impulsive and aggressive behaviors and find it challenging to communicate or remember things. Paranoia, poor judgment, lack of motivation, wandering and incontinence are also common problems that individuals with mild cognitive impairments experience. Symptoms may even vary by the day.

Moderate and severe cognitive impairments

Anyone who suffers from more profound cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease may have an inability to care for themselves. 

They may find it challenging to communicate and need someone to assist them with eating or using the bathroom. Individuals with moderate to severe cognitive deficits may also need regular reminders about the dangers of engaging in certain activities. Most individuals with cognitive impairments such as these have no ability to work.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability with a cognitive impairment

Whatever the level of impairment, it’s important to work with your doctor or your loved one’s doctor to get a diagnosis and document the status and progression of their condition.

Because the limitations caused by cognitive impairments can vary so greatly, it can be difficult to obtain Social Security Disability (SSDI) without a great deal of effort. Unfair denials are common. Far too often, adjudicators fail to take into account the widespread difficulty that even a mild cognitive impairment can cause someone as they try to go through their day.

Seeing an attorney may also be on the agenda if you or your loved one’s condition appears to be progressing quickly. An attorney can help you overcome an SSDI denial and advocate for you as your case proceeds.