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An Ocala Social Security Disability Benefits Lawyer Explains the C Criteria

  • Published: July 15, 2014

In this article, an experienced Ocala Social Security disability benefits lawyer discusses the means whereby the Social Security Administration assess psychological and mental impairments.

Reaching the C Criteria

The C Criteria is assessed once it is established that the claimant has a medically determinable impairment, but the level of severity is unclear such that the B Criteria is not met. In order to fill the requirements of the C Criteria, the patient must be diagnosed as having:

  • A condition associated with anxiety;
  • Schizophrenia, paranoia or another psychotic condition;
  • An structural or organic mental condition;
  • A mood-related or affective condition.

Affective, psychotic and organic conditions must all meet the same C Criteria. For all three, the patient must have had the condition for two years or more and it must cause more than a minor restriction that prevents him or her from performing ordinary work-related tasks. Further, one or more of the conditions listed below must be present:

  • The patient experiences, on a recurring basis, lengthy periods of time in which he or she is unable to cope with stressful situations using normal psychological defenses. This is also referred to as decompensation; 
  • The patient’s condition is such that even minor alterations in the patient’s surroundings or a small augmentation of psychological pressures could trigger decompensation; and
  • The patient has been unable to manage for himself or herself without in-home assistance for two years or more and there is no expectation of the patient ever improving to the degree that such assistance is no longer needed.

Anxiety disorders have only one criterion. The patient cannot in even the slightest degree manage outside the house without help or supervision.

What This Means for You and Your Ocala Social Security Disability Attorney

If the patient has been in and out of hospitals for years, has required medication, therapy or psychological intervention, the patient’s actual degree of impairment may be obscured by the measures that are often taken to minimize the impact of the condition. Observation of surface symptoms might not be an accurate assessment of such a patient’s limitations. The assessments, diagnoses and opinions of the patient’s physicians and other medical personnel will be required in order to assess whether the C Criteria has or has not been met, and it could require more than one examination to make this determination.

Call Your Ocala Social Security Disability Attorney Today

The guidance and experience of a skilled Ocala Social Security disability benefits lawyer can be invaluable to you. Contact the CJ Henry Law Firm, PLLC by calling 352.304.5300 today.

Claudeth Henry

Attorney Henry is a Florida disability lawyer Florida disability lawyer uniquely suited to help you
with your disability-related legal needs...Protect Your Benefits Today (352) 577-7746