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The use of Global Assessment of Functioning Scores in Social Security determinations

An ALJ will sometimes use a Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score to deny benefits in mental health cases.

However, the Social Security Administration does not rely upon GAF scores and they do not indicate particular limitations. The Federal Register explains why the Commissioner did not include GAF scores in Section 12.00D of the Listing of Impairments (The Listings), (56 FR at 33132):

We did not mention the GAF scale to endorse its use in the Social Security and SSI disability programs,…It does not have a direct correlation to the severity requirements in our mental disorders listings. 65 Fed. Reg 50746-01, 50764-65.

Copyright 2013. Glen Cook www.cooklaw.org

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