Representing Disabled Clients for Over 25 Years

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Donald H. Peters

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Chronic mental impairments

Particular problems are often involved in evaluating mental impairments in individuals who have long histories of repeated hospitalizations or prolonged outpatient care with supportive therapy and medication. For instance, if you have chronic organic, psychotic, and affective disorders, you may commonly have your life structured in such a way as to minimize your stress and reduce your symptoms and signs. In such a case, you may be much more impaired for work than your symptoms and signs would indicate. The results of a single examination may not adequately describe your sustained ability to function. It is, therefore, vital that we review all pertinent information relative to your condition, especially at times of increased stress. We will attempt to obtain adequate descriptive information from all sources that have treated you in the time period relevant to the determination or decision.

Effects of structured settings

Particularly in cases involving chronic mental disorders, overt symptomatology may be controlled or attenuated by psychosocial factors such as placement in a hospital, halfway house, board and care facility, or other environment that provides similar structure. Highly structured and supportive settings may also be found your home. Such settings may greatly reduce the mental demands placed on you. With lowered mental demands, overt symptoms and signs of the underlying mental disorder may be minimized.

At the same time, however, your ability to function outside of such a structured or supportive setting may not have changed. If your symptomatology is controlled or attenuated by psychosocial factors, we must consider your ability to function outside of such highly structured settings. For these reasons, identical paragraph C criteria are included in 12.02, 12.03, and 12.04. The paragraph C criterion of 12.06 reflects the uniqueness of agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder manifested by an overwhelming fear of leaving the home.

Effects of medication

We must give attention to the effects of medication on your symptoms, signs, and ability to function. While drugs used to modify psychological functions and mental states may control certain primary manifestations of a mental disorder, e.g., hallucinations, impaired attention, restlessness, or hyperactivity, such treatment may not affect all functional limitations imposed by the mental disorder.

In cases where overt symptomatology is attenuated by the use of such drugs, particular attention must be focused on the functional limitations that may persist. We will consider these functional limitations in assessing impairment severity. See the paragraph C criteria in 12.02, 12.03, 12.04, and 12.06. Drugs used in the treatment of some mental illnesses may cause drowsiness, blunted affect, or other side effects involving other body systems. We will consider such side effects when we evaluate the overall severity of your impairment. Where adverse effects of medications contribute to the impairment severity and the impairment(s) neither meets nor is equivalent in severity to any listing but is nonetheless severe, we will consider such adverse effects in the RFC assessment.

Effects of treatment

With adequate treatment some individuals with chronic mental disorders not only have their symptoms and signs ameliorated, but they also return to a level of function close to the level of function they had before they developed symptoms or signs of their mental disorders. Treatment may or may not assist in the achievement of a level of adaptation adequate to perform sustained SGA. See the paragraph C criteria in 12.02, 12.03, 12.04, and 12.06.

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If you wish to hire a licensed Attorney to help win your claim, call Social Security Professionals.

Call Social Security Professionals now to discuss your claim for free!

You need no money to hire Attorney Donald H. Peters

(248) 549-3485
FREE CONSULTATION

Call Social Security Professionals now to discuss your claim for free

You need no money to hire Attorney Donald H. Peters

(248) 549-3485
FREE CONSULTATION

Southfield Lawyer Donald Peters of the Law Office of Donald H. Peters, P.C. in Southfield, Michigan, handles Social Security Disability claims throughout Michigan and in the Tri-County Metro Detroit area including Detroit, Southfield, Novi, Warren, Royal Oak, Roseville, Livonia, Mount Clemens, Sterling Heights, Farmington Hills, Birmingham, Berkley, Oak Park, West Bloomfield, Ann Arbor, Eastpointe, Waterford, Flint, Canton, Taylor, Romulus, Westland, Clinton Township, Troy, Dearborn, Brighton, Howell, Pontiac, Rochester Hills,  as well as Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Ingham County, and Livingston County, Michigan.

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Material presented on the Social Security Professionals website is intended for general informational purposes only.  It is not intended as professional advice in any manner and should not be construed as such.  Individuals should never act upon any information provided in a website except that you should seek the advice of an Attorney. 

For the most up to date content regarding Social Security Disability please reference the Social Security Administration's website.

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(248) 549-3485