Yes, individuals can qualify for dyslexia disability benefits if they meet the Social Security Administration’s criteria for severity, duration, and functional limitations. The condition must be expected to last for at least 12 continuous months, significantly limit the ability to work, and be supported by medical evidence. Meeting these requirements is essential for a successful disability claim.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has incorporated a new listing, 12.11, specifically for adults with neurodevelopmental disorders, encompassing conditions like dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD/ADD, and tic disorders like Tourette’s syndrome. In the case of children with dyslexia, the SSA has extended criteria for learning disabilities and tic disorders within the listing for ADHD under listing 112.11.
What Is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a neurological condition that affects a person’s ability to read, write, and spell. It is considered a learning disability that primarily impacts language processing skills. Following are the types of dyslexia:
- Phonological Dyslexia: Difficulty in recognizing and manipulating the sounds of spoken language.
- Surface Dyslexia: Difficulty recognizing whole words and relies heavily on decoding.
- Rapid Naming Deficit Dyslexia: Difficulty rapidly naming familiar objects, colors, or letters.
Is Dyslexia A Disability?
Dyslexia is classified as a specific learning disability with a neurobiological basis. It involves challenges in accurate word recognition, poor spelling, and other difficulties in reading.
Recognized by the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), dyslexia is acknowledged as a reading disability.
Symptoms Of Dyslexia
Some of the symptoms of dyslexia are as follows:
- Difficulty with Phonological Awareness: Challenges in recognizing and manipulating the sounds of spoken language.
- Word Decoding Difficulty: Struggles with breaking down words into individual sounds and recognizing them.
- Spelling Challenges: Difficulty spelling words correctly.
- Reading Comprehension Issues: Difficulty understanding and retaining the meaning of what is read.
- Sequential Processing Challenges: Struggles with tasks that involve processing information in a sequential order.
While dyslexia poses challenges, individuals with dyslexia often have unique strengths and talents in other areas. Early identification and appropriate interventions can help individuals with dyslexia overcome these challenges. Some people are triggered by ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, anxiety, depression, and other functioning disorders.
Eligibility Criteria For Getting Dyslexia Disability
To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits due to dyslexia, individuals must meet the following criteria:
- Duration of Impairment: The dyslexia must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 12 continuous months.
- Severity of Impairment: The dyslexia must be severe enough to significantly limit the individual’s ability to perform basic work activities.
- Medical Evidence: There must be medical evidence, including psychiatric evaluations, treatment records, and supporting documentation, to establish the severity and impact of dyslexia.
- Functional Limitations: Dyslexia must result in functional limitations that prevent the individual from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA).
- Work Credits (for SSDI): For SSDI benefits, individuals must have earned sufficient work credits through past work experience.
Meeting these criteria is crucial to a successful disability claim for dyslexia through the Social Security Administration (SSA).
How Does SSA View Dyslexia?
Dyslexia was not initially considered severe enough to be listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book,” which outlines impairments eligible for disability benefits. However, in 2017, learning disabilities, including dyslexia, were added to the Blue Book. This inclusion signifies that individuals with severe dyslexia may now be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.
What happens if you meet the criteria of the SSA?
Qualifying for dyslexia social security benefits typically involves thoroughly evaluating your medical condition and its impact on your ability to work. Here’s a general overview of the application procedure:
- Medical Evidence: Gather medical evidence that supports your diagnosis of depression.
- Work History: Provide details about your work history, including the nature of your jobs and the impact of depression on your ability to perform work-related tasks.
- Application Submission: Submit a disability benefits application to the Social Security Administration (SSA). This can be done online, by phone, or in person at a local SSA office.
- Disability Determination Services (DDS): The SSA will forward your case to DDS for a detailed review. DDS will assess your medical evidence, work history, and the severity of your depression.
- Decision Notification: You will receive a decision letter from the SSA regarding your eligibility for disability benefits. If approved, the letter will outline the benefits you’ll receive.
- Appeal Process: You can appeal the decision if your initial application is denied. The appeal process includes reconsideration, a hearing before an administrative law judge, and further appeals if necessary.
What If You Can’t Meet the Listing for Dyslexia?
For adults with dyslexia, SSA assesses whether the condition imposes significant limitations on their ability to work. If dyslexia doesn’t meet the specific listing criteria or prevent the individual from performing unskilled work, it’s unlikely to qualify for disability benefits.
Most dyslexia sufferers are employable and often excel in areas unaffected by the disorder, making it challenging to establish a high level of impairment. Disability benefits are typically not granted unless there’s a combination of dyslexia and physical impairment or other specific circumstances, acknowledging that dyslexia, while impactful, doesn’t usually meet the severity required for SSDI or SSI.
Disability Benefits Denied? Contact a lawyer
A Social Security disability lawyer can play a crucial role in a dyslexia social security disability claim by helping gather necessary medical evidence, establishing the severity of the condition, and presenting a compelling case to the Social Security Administration (SSA). They navigate the complex application process, ensure all required documentation is submitted, and represent their client during any appeals or hearings.
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