Memory loss could be a primary symptom or condition of another serious medical condition. For example, memory loss could occur after someone suffers a stroke or brain injury from a car accident. In other cases, clinical depression or chronic fatigue syndrome could cause a person to experience memory loss. Memory loss also comes in different forms, including short and long-term loss, amnesia, or dementia. Individuals who suffer from memory loss could also experience permanent and severe cognitive impairments.
If you suffer from severe memory loss, you might not be able to perform the duties associated with your job. The Social Security Administration (SSA) manages two benefits programs to assist people with medical conditions that adversely impact their ability to work: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. Depending on your circumstances, our experienced Fayetteville, AR disability lawyers can assist you in applying for the benefits you need.
For decades, the attorneys and staff at Gunn Kieklak Dennis LLP have dedicated themselves to helping ensure that their clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. Unfortunately, this is not always an easy task. Demonstrating that you have a qualifying medical condition is challenging – especially if your primary symptom is memory loss. To discuss your options and the necessary steps to apply for disability, call our law offices at (479) 316-0438.
Social Security Disability for Memory Loss
Memory loss could be a symptom of a wide variety of medical conditions or illnesses. No matter the underlying cause, the Social Security Administration will have to determine if your condition is severe enough to warrant disability benefits.
The first step is providing evidence and medical documentation proving that your memory loss is the result of a physical or psychological condition. Additionally, the cognitive impairments must be severe enough to make it impossible to perform your job duties. It is important to understand that your limitations are not restricted to your current occupation. You will have to show that your impairment makes it impossible to perform the tasks associated with a less demanding job.
In nearly every case, memory loss is symptomatic of another medical condition. Therefore, your medical documentation must establish that you meet the criteria for the listed underlying condition.
The SSA publishes a guideline for its case specialists and other medical personnel. Usually referred to as the “Blue Book,” this list of impairments includes certain organic mental disorders such as dementia or amnesia. More specifically, the section listing applicable organic mental disorders is 12.02.
You will need extensive medical documentation and records to support the diagnosis of an organic mental disorder. The medical evidence should show that the mental disorder is causing functional abnormalities that reduce your capacity to perform your required job tasks. Our Springdale disability lawyers will work with you and your healthcare providers to ensure your medical documentation is complete as possible.
If your memory loss is a symptom or secondary effect of another illness or medical condition, for instance, a stroke, you will have to meet the Blue Book listing requirements for the underlying medical condition. While your evidence still must support a reduction of cognitive functions, it must demonstrate that you are suffering from the original medical condition. Typically, this is accomplished by providing diagnostic test results or medical source statements from your treating physician.
In other cases, memory loss is not associated with a listed impairment. In this situation, even if the degree of your cognitive function is greatly diminished, you might have to prove that your current condition meets a number of different criteria from multiple conditions.
Types of Evidence Used to Prove Memory Loss in Arkansas
No matter what your impairment is, medical evidence is critical in obtaining Social Security disability benefits. If you are applying for SSI or SSDI because of memory loss, you need to provide supporting documentation. Numerous forms of evidence could be used to demonstrate your eligibility.
- Complete and thorough medical records that detail your physical examinations, diagnostic tests, and other treatments used to diagnose your condition.
- A medical source statement from your treating doctor that explains the treatment, your symptoms, the severity of your memory loss, and, most importantly, the exact way your memory loss limits your ability to perform the tasks necessary to perform your job.
- Performance evaluations that demonstrate you are incapable of performing simple or repetitive tasks that require the use of your memory.
- Documentation that shows you are undergoing all available treatment and therapy, including medications, to improve your condition. Additionally, the provided evidence must show that this treatment has been ineffective in improving your situation. It should include a determination by your doctor that your condition is unlikely to improve.
- If you have more than one treating physician, such as a specialist or occupational expert, they should also provide written statements to support your claim.
- Testimony from your supervisor or co-workers is also vital in demonstrating how your condition adversely affected your job performance.
Contact Our Arkansas Disability Attorney to Determine if Your Memory Loss Qualifies for Benefits
Severe and chronic memory loss is a frightening proposition. If you are unable to work due to a medical condition, you and your family could be facing a financial crisis. While disability benefits are available, they are not easy to obtain. Our Rogers Social Security Disability lawyers focus on helping individuals get the benefits they need. If you are suffering from memory loss from a mental or physical illness, or another medical condition that impairs your ability to work, call our law offices at (479) 316-0438.