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Neurodevelopmental disorders are a group of medical conditions that occur during the developmental period, which is age 22 or younger.  Possible signs and symptoms of these disorders include problems with cognitive processing. It also includes deficits in attention or impulse control, low frustration tolerance, or deficits in social skills.

While it is difficult to state all of the symptoms because there are so many conditions under this category, one thing they all have in common is that they occur due to atypical brain development. Additionally, they may result in problems in personal, academic, and social function.

You can qualify for SSDI and SSI benefits if you have one of these disorders. However, you must have ongoing medical treatment for the condition and it must also prevent you from working for more than 12 months. SSDI and SSI benefits are for those who cannot work at any job due to their mental disorder.


The SSA does not examine all disorders under this specific category, because they believe some disorders require their own listing. However, here is a list of some common neurodevelopmental disorders:

  1. AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD): ASD is a complex disorder that is known for causing difficulty in social interaction and communication. It also results in repetitive behaviors. The term “spectrum” reflects the wide range of symptoms that those with ASD may experience.
  2. ATTENTION-DEFICIT/HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER (ADHD): ADHD is a disorder that usually begins in childhood. It causes patterns of inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
  3. INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY: Intellectual disability involves limitations in your IQ. For example, it causes issues with being able to reason, learn, and solve problems. The onset of an intellectual condition usually occurs before the age of 18.
  4. SPECIFIC LEARNING DISORDERS: This disorder involves problems in learning and using academic skills, even though the individual has average intelligence. Specific learning disorders can affect areas such as reading, writing, or mathematics.
  5. COMMUNICATION DISORDERS: These disorders include problems in speech and language development. For example, it includes issues with speech sound disorder, language disorder, and stuttering.
  6. MOTOR DISORDERS: These disorders involve problems with motor skills and coordination. Examples include developmental coordination disorder and stereotypic movement disorder.
  7. TOURETTE’S SYNDROME: This is a disorder that causes repetitive, involuntary movements and vocalizations called tics.


Additionally, early identification and intervention are crucial for managing and treating individuals with these disorders. Under the SSA program, they do not include mental disorders such as those, like traumatic brain injury under listing 12.02. Also, the SSA does not include autism spectrum disorder, which is under listing 12.10. Additionally, it does not include personality disorders, which are under listing 12.08.

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In order to meet a listing, you must have medical proof of every element on the list. Proof means objective medical evidence from a doctor who is treating your condition. If you do not have a doctor or health insurance, later in this article you can find free and low cost resources to help you get medical treatment. Below you will find the requirements of listing 12.11:

12.11 Neurodevelopmental disorders, satisfied by A and B:

  1. Medical documentation of the requirements of paragraph 1, 2, or 3:
    1. One or both of the following:
      1. Frequent distractibility, problems sustaining attention, and problems organizing tasks; or
      2. Hyperactive and impulsive behavior (for example, difficulty remaining seated, talking excessively, difficulty waiting, appearing restless, or behaving as if being “driven by a motor”).
    2. Significant difficulties learning and using academic skills; or
    3. Recurrent motor movement or vocalization.


  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental function:
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information.
    2. Interact with others.
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace.
    4. Adapt or manage oneself.


A medical condition is equal to a listing if it is at least equal in severity and duration to the elements of any listing.  For example, the symptoms of a particular listing are listed under Part A. The functional limits of the disorder are under Part B or Part C criteria. However, many people have multiple mental conditions that occur at one time.

Therefore, it is not always possible to know whether the mental symptoms under Part A criteria are the cause of the functional limits. In those cases, the SSA will consider whether the combination of mental conditions equals a mental listing by looking at the entire medical record.

There are three ways to find that your mental illness equals a listing. For example, the SSA consider whether the person has:

  • A listed mental condition (that is, a mental disorder in a listed mental disorders category);
  • A mental condition that is not on the list (that is, a mental disorder that is not part of SSA’s listed mental disorders); or
  • A combination of mental conditions that are severe.




This area of mental function refers to the ability to learn, recall, and use information to perform work. Examples include: understanding and learning terms, instructions, and procedures. It also means following one or two step instructions to carry out a task. You should also be able to describe work activity to others. Also, you need to be able to ask and answer questions. Similarly, it includes giving explanations.

You must also know if you made a mistake and then being able to fix it. Skilled work requires the ability to perform multiple steps and using reason and judgment to make work decisions. These examples show the nature of this area of mental function. However, the SSA does not require evidence for all of the examples.


This area refers to the ability to relate to and work with your boss, other workers, and the public. For instance, if you have mental health issues you may have trouble getting along with others. Additionally, you may also have problems asking for help when needed or handling conflicts with others.

Other examples are being able to state your own point of view. You must be able to start and sustain a conversation and respond to social cues. For example, you must be able to respond to requests, suggestions, criticism, correction, and challenges. At work, your mental symptoms should not interfere with social interactions. You should not cause arguments or be suspicious of others.

These examples show the nature of this area of mental function. Again, the SSA does not require medical records of all of these examples. However, they are looking at your record to see if there are examples of trouble in this area. The reason why this area issue important is that almost all jobs require you to deal with other people.


This area of mental function refers to the ability to focus attention on work activities and stay on task at a normal rate. Examples include: performing a task that you understand and know how to do and working at a steady pace. It also includes being able to complete tasks in a timely manner. This will require you to ignore distractions while working. Also, you should be able to change activities without bothering other workers.

Other examples include working close to or with others. Also, they will look at whether you can keep up with a normal routine at work. Likewise, they will look at your attendance and ability to be on time. Other examples include working a full day without needing more than then the given number or length of rest periods during the day.

These examples show you the nature of this area of mental function. The SSA does not require medical records of all of the examples. But, the examples show you the evidence the SSA is looking for in your records.


This area of mental function refers to your ability to regulate your emotions, control behavior, and maintain normal behavior in a work setting. For instance, if you have mental health issues in this are you may have problems responding to demands and changes at work. Additionally, you might have trouble managing your psychological symptoms.

Other examples include, knowing the difference between acceptable and unacceptable work performance. You must also be able to set realistic goals and make plans on your own. Another thing the SSA looks at is whether you have good personal hygiene and attire in a work setting. Also, you must be able to be aware of normal hazards at work.

The SSA does not require evidence of all of the examples. If you have evidence from a boss at an old job that shows you cannot manage yourself in a work setting, then you should submit it to the SSA.


The SSA will look at the information you write about your mental illness on their forms. They will also look at your medical records in order to decide whether more information is needed to grant your claim. In some cases, the SSA will order you to visit one of their doctors. You need to go to the exam and explain your mental health conditions to the doctor. The SSA will pay for your visit to the doctor. Find our more information about your free SSA doctor exam.

If the SSA decides to send you to a psychological exam, they will be looking at your mental health symptoms. They may also give you an IQ test or a memory test. You can learn more information about how to prepare for SSA’s mental exam.

You must attend these appointments. If you do not, then the SSA will automatically deny your claim for SSD benefits. For some reason, if you cannot attend the exam at the time the SSA gives you, then you can call them and set up a different time for the exam. Make sure you do this, rather than just failing to go.


If your nuerodevelopmental disorders do not meet or equal a listing, then your RFC can make the difference between winning or losing your benefits. Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) is one of the most important concepts in your SSD case. You can use your RFC to prove that you cannot work. So, what is your RFC?

The RFC is the medical estimate of what you are capable of doing in a work setting. It is what you can do after taking into account all of your limits due to the symptoms of your condition.

In order to figure out your physical RFC when you have Parkinson’s disease, the SSA will examine your medical records. They will take into account what your doctor states in your medical records. Also, the SSA will review any statements from your doctors.

They will also review records from the any medical doctors that the SSA send you to visit. If the SSA send you for a doctor visit, then you do not have to pay for the visit. You can learn more here about the doctor exam provided for free to you by the SSA.

The SSA will also consider descriptions about your physical limits from your family, neighbors and friends. For example, your family or friends could write a statement about your chronic pain, movement issues, or the tremors you experience from Parkinson’s disease. Find out more here about RFC and how along with age it can prove you cannot work. Also, find out more about SSA’s Medical Vocational Guidelines.


If you want to win your SSD case, then you need medical evidence. Therefore, you must see a doctor. Doctor’s progress notes, tests, and medical opinions are the evidence for your SSD and SSI case. If you do not have ongoing treatment from a doctor, then you will not win your case.  The SSA will only accept medical evidence from official doctors. They consider official evidence to be from primary care doctors and counselors.

For example, you could get treatment from a counselor. You can also see a nurse or doctor. They can give you medication. If you can’t afford private therapy, then there is group therapy. Finally, if you cannot afford therapy, then we have a list of free and low cost health clinics on our website. Choose your state and call the free clinic for mental help:

All of the listed clinics and community health centers state on their websites whether they will accept a payment plan. Likewise, some clinics may provide services on a sliding fee scale. Other clinics are free. Contact the clinics or health resources directly. They can explain their payment options.


There is some good news. You do not need to obtain SSD benefits for neurodevelopmental disorders on your own. We can help file your SSDI and SSI application. Also, we can help you file an appeal after every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health and spending time with your family. Our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete the application. Once you submit your application online, the SSA sends you an application summary in the mail. You must sign the summary and mail it back.

Additionally, once you receive a denial from the SSA, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You must meet the time limit set by the SSA. If you do not, then you will have to start the process over again. That means you will lose any benefits you could receive on the old application.


If you have a mental health case, you should hire an attorney to help you win your benefits. Why? Because you need to provide for your family. A lawyer can help you win your SSD benefits using the Part B rules. You are three times more likely to win your benefits if you hire an attorney. In order to hire us, all you need to do is contact us. We offer a free review of you case. Furthermore, it doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us.

You only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. Therefore, if we win your SSD case, then you pay the attorney fee out of your back benefits. If you do not win, then you do not pay an attorney.

Additionally, the attorney fee has a cap or a limit. The SSA sets the limit of the attorney fee at 25% of the back benefit or the maximum attorney fee cap. Whatever is less. The maximum fee cap is $7200.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay those. But usually those costs are less than $100. Once we win your case, the attorney fee comes from your back benefit. In order to hire most lawyers you have to pay upfront. We don’t work like that. You don’t have a job. So, the only way for you to pay us is for us to win your case. That is our goal. Call and see what we can do for you.


In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and back due benefits for our clients. If you want to win benefits for neurodevelopmental disorders, then you should hire an attorney with the experience. Legal experience counts in court. Also, you need a lawyer to explain to the SSA why they should pay you SSD benefits for your illness. We can do that. Contact us today.

If you want to learn more about our lawyers and staff, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is can help you choose the best Medicare advantage plan. She has also won thousands of SSDI cases. Dianna Cannon has been helping SSD and SSI clients win benefits for more than thirty years. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. You can trust us to help you win SSD and SSI benefits.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Also, we help our clients with their Medicare benefits. Our lawyers and staff can help you apply for benefits using the SSA’s website.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, then we can help you do that too. There are also many forms you will need to fill out. But, don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, then we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us for a free review of your neurodevelopmental disorders case today. Contact us now. Let us help you win your SSDI benefits.

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