Abromson & Carey, Attorneys at Law
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What are "organic" mental disorders?


It is not unusual for a person in Newark to suffer from a mental disorder. These issues can make it difficult to function on a daily basis, let alone try and hold a normal, full-time job. Many people who have qualifying mental conditions might not know how organic mental disorders are defined or what the criteria are to be approved for disability. Having a grasp on these factors is the first step to pursuing benefits.

An organic mental disorder is a behavioral or a psychological problem that is linked to brain dysfunction. In order to determine whether or not this has to do with an organic factor, there must be a physical examination of the claimant and the history of the individual taken. In order to be approved, the severity must meet the requirements in both category A and B or in C by itself.

For category A, the claimant must show a loss of cognitive ability or affective changes with one of the following: being disoriented as to the time and place; memory problems in the short-term, intermediate, or long-term; disturbances in perception or thinking; alterations in personality; mood disturbances; fluctuations in emotionality; or a decrease in intelligence quotient of a minimum of 15 points. For B, there must be two of the following: restriction in ability to perform daily activities; difficulty with social function; difficulty concentrating, persisting, or pacing; and repetitive episodes of decompensation for an extended duration of each.

In category C, it is necessary for there to be a history of organic disorders on a chronic basis and it must be medically documented. This must last for a minimum of two years and interfere with the ability to perform basic work activities treated with medication or psychological treatment. There must also be one of: decompensation; decompensation due to changes to environment or minimal increase in mental demands; or a history of not being able to function away from a supportive environment for one year or more.

A large number of people are not even aware that they have a mental issue that could allow them to be approved for disability benefits. If there is a mental disorder that interferes with normal functioning in the above-listed ways, it is possible to receive benefits. Speaking to a lawyer can help to move the process forward and secure Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions.

Source: SocialSecurity.gov, "12.02 Organic mental disorders," accessed on July 14, 2015

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