Mental Disorders Rule Update

Woman with documents sitting on the deskOn Monday, September 26, Social Security will publish a final rule to update the criteria we use to evaluate disability claims involving mental disorders. This rule, “Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Mental Disorders,” is the most comprehensive revision to the criteria since 1985.

Upon publishing this final rule, our standards and terminology for evaluating claims involving mental disorders reflect information from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition — the mental health profession’s current standard classification of mental disorders.

While updating this rule, the public had questions about our criteria for evaluating intellectual disability. From childhood onward, people with intellectual disabilities experience deficits in intellectual functioning and lack many basic daily practical and social skills. We decided it was critical to ensure these individuals receive necessary assistance as soon as possible. Therefore, we updated the diagnostic and functional criteria for this disorder and are using IQ test score criteria to identify quickly people who may qualify for disability benefits based on an intellectual disability.

Besides reflecting comments from members of the public, the rule reflects the expertise of disability policy experts, adjudicators, psychiatric professionals, and vocational experts.

During the careful, considered process of updating the rule, we’ve engaged with stakeholders, including: disability beneficiaries and their family members; psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health treatment providers; and advocacy groups for those with mental disorders. We also solicited, responded to, and incorporated public comments, and considered an intellectual disability report we commissioned from the National Academy of Sciences.

People with mental disorders are some of the most vulnerable members in our society, and we take our duty to provide them with effective service and support seriously. Publishing this rule is just one way we’re meeting our priority to secure today and tomorrow for millions throughout life’s journey.

You can learn more about the rule here.


231 thoughts on “Mental Disorders Rule Update

  1. I have bi polar1 , ocd , add gad. I am very vernable in society. I can’t hold down work. I have been on ssdi for 6 years. I was intitutionalized last Sept of 2016. I have a review again coming up this month. Didn’t receive the long form yet. Nothing has changed I got worse even on my meds I take every day. I see two Drs. One for suboxone program and the other for my mental meds. I feel nobody cares about someone like me. Trump has made me feel like I don’t belong in society. Its upsetting when the president has no heart for people like us. It makes me more depressed. I didn’t wish for this at 46 years old, but I got to deal with it.

  2. I have been on ssdi I for 6 years. I have major mental illnesses. B.P.1 ocd add had depression. I have done 1 cdr in 2015 and due for one this month 1/18.Iam not working and seeing a Dr for meds and for suboxone. I was hospitalized for manic in sept2016. Back on meds that will never end my problems. The pyciatrist said” u will b A sick men the rest of my life. Surprisingly got 3 year reviews. I feel worse then ever at 46. It gets worse it seems when u get older. I can’t deal with society and will never change. Why is the ? I should’ve been 5to 7 years not possible. I have family friends ex co workers all agree. I guess it is what it is. I know I will b hospitalized again in the future. Don’t let mentally illness run your life Iam told. Walk in my shoes and u see I don’t but the fight is over to tired.

  3. i have mental health disability, I was wondering if I’m able to get disability benefits. I have been seeing a psychologist for about 6 month’s now.

    • hello Chad, the Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person thinks that he or she meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability benefits when they become disabled. You can apply online, which is quick and easy.
      You can also apply by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly.
      For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability, thanks.

  4. Thank you for giving information. your article is very nice . vtsbharath conducted many free health camp in various places.

  5. A friend of mine has a grandson living with her he has multiple mental problems and is now threatening to kill family members. He is a danger to others and himself. He is 30years old. Is there any thing they can do to have him leaglely committed to a facility that maybe able to help him

  6. Why aren’t mentally challenged people required to have a payee ? I know two who get it and never pay their bills . They buy junk and never pay their rent . I know of 3 places they were evicted from . If they are to challenged to work they should be considered to challenged to control their money . It should be law that if you are so mentally challenged you can’t work and your IQ is 70 or below you should be required to have a payee .

  7. I currently receice SSDI for Major Deoression and anxiety. If my conditions worsen over time, would I be entitled to a increase in benefits? Also, I have been diagnosed with emphysema and copd. would this also increase my SSDI Benefits?

  8. I am 44 years old and at age 10 raised myself on the streets. I lack compassion for people and can’t function in public or groups of people. I’m diagnosed Anti social with extreme anxiety dissorder. I self medicate to feel something, normal. I’m on meds I infrequently miss lithium and seraquil.

  9. I am suffering from depression. Have congestive heart failure10% left of my heart all due to chemotherapy. I cannot locate a doctor who accepts Medicare. I sit in a bedroom all day and night. I seriously need help. Contacted social security and they gave me names of doctors. Who no longer accepts Medicare.

    How can I get back on my feet. I’m in desperate need of help.

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