August 20, 2014
In Whitehead v. Comm’r of SSA, 2014 U.S.Dist. Lexis 112016, the District Court did a wonderful job of not only explaining Listing 12.05(C), but applying the listing to the facts of the case. Listing 12.05C requires a valid IQ of 60 through 70 and a physical or mental impairment imposing an additional and significant work related functional limitation. The Listing further requires intellectual disability manifested before age 22. In my experience, there is a common misconception that someone who is mildly mentally retarded or intellectually disabled is unable to function in any manner whatsoever. Thus, if a person with mild mental retardation has worked in the past, decision makers apparently feel it would be inappropriate to find the person disabled. The truth is that individuals with mild mental retardation are usually able to live in the community, often independently (DSM, 4th). Thus, it is improper to deny a claim that meets Listing 12.05 simply because the claimant has worked unskilled jobs in the past, or is able to watch television, drive, or take a bath. “Individuals performing in the mild mental retardation range are capable of performing such activities.” Whitehead, p. 14.