Disability Determination for the Mentally Impaired. Conflicts and Changes

Academic Article


  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) has been criticized for its handling of mentally impaired disability claimants. Requirements by the SSA for objective evidence of disability and the presumption that mentally impaired individuals are capable of unskilled work have been deemed prejudicial by those critical of the SSA. Also, since reviews of existing disability cases began in 1981, a disproportionate number of mentally disabled beneficiaries have been selected for review and subsequent termination of benefits. Consequently, the disability programs of the SSA, particularly as they apply to mentally impaired claimants, have been challenged in federal courts and have been the subject of congressional scrutiny. Partly as a result, the SSA has suspended the review of disability cases and is in the process of modifying the determination and review process for disability claims involving mental disorders. Legislation pending in Congress indicates that sections of the Social Security Act pertaining to mental disorder are to be revised, and there will be increasing emphasis on determining the vocational impact of mental disorders. © 1985 American Psychological Association.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Novack TA; Bernard JL
  • Start Page

  • 148
  • End Page

  • 158
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 1