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What is Organic Mental Disorders?

Definition of Organic Mental Disorders

If a Social Security Disability claimant has a dysfunction of the brain which is either permanent or temporary and causes a severe organic mental disorder, the claimant may be unable to work. Organic mental disorders can be inherited or they can be the result of injury or disease. Exposure to toxic materials or neurological changes associated with aging can also cause an organic mental disorder. Common organic mental disorders, which may be severe enough to interfere with a claimant's ability to perform work at a substantial level, can include: mental retardation, autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorders, anxiety disorders and depression. Organic mental disorders can be substantiated through medical documentation, psychological testing, lab tests and doctor's observations. The Social Security Administration will evaluate a claimant's medical records and make a determination of the severity of the claimant's condition and how the organic mental disorder affects the claimant's ability to work. The Social Security Administration will decide how the organic mental disorder affects the following areas: 1) restrictions of daily living; 2) difficulty functioning in social environments; 3) difficulty maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace when completing work tasks and 4) episodes of decompensation.

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