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Adult IQ scores to demonstrate IQ before age 22 in Social Security and SSI Disability Hearings

Section 12.05 of the Listing of Impairments requires an onset of the required IQ before age 22. Additionally, Disabled Adult Child Benefits require onset before age 22. Often, the only evidence is an adult WAIS test. Administrative Law Judges will deny the claim, stating (incorrectly) that there is no evidence of IQ before age 22.

Section 112.00D10 of 20 CFR Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1, takes administrative notice that “[g]enerally, the results of IQ tests tend to stabilize by the age of 16." Thus, IQ testing performed as an adult would have probative value as to the claimant’s cognitive abilities.

The case law is in accord: “Absent evidence of sudden trauma that can cause retardation, the IQ tests create a rebuttable presumption of a fairly constant IQ throughout her life." See Hodges v. Barnhart, 276 F.3d 1265 (11th Cir. 2001); quoted in Black v. Astrue, 678 F.Supp. 2d 1250 (N.D. Fla. 2010). In this case, the evidence shows special education and a limited education, confirming the presumption.

This same analysis supports requesting a consultative exam (CE) with WAIS, even if subsequent to age 22.

Copyright 2013. Glen Cook www.cooklaw.org

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