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What are the federal SSD regulations on social functioning?

When a Californian is suffering from a mental disorder that is making it difficult or outright impossible to function, the person might not realize that it is possible that the issue can make them eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits for illness. There are certain criteria that must be met under federal regulations of the Social Security Administration to be approved for disability. Understanding the terms is an important part of filing for benefits. One such term is social functioning.

With social functioning, a claimant's ability to interact with others independently, in an appropriate and effective manner, and to do so on a sustained basis is judged. Getting along with others is what will be assessed. That includes members of the family, friends, neighbors and anyone else with whom interaction might occur. An impairment in social functioning might be exemplified by getting into altercations, being evicted, losing one's job, having a fear of strangers, avoiding relationships and being isolated socially.

Those who are able to function in an acceptable fashion socially and participate in various activities will be seen as not having impairments. Showing consideration for others, being aware of the feelings of others and exhibiting social maturity are all factors in this. At work, it might be necessary to deal with customers and co-workers. This too is important in social functioning. Overall functioning is the key.

There are not definitions for marked behaviors with social functioning. Being an antagonistic person -- even if it is tolerated by the people who are the objects of this treatment -- could be seen as a limitation in social functioning. With the manner in which social functioning is viewed by the SSA, there are many ways in which a person who is experiencing difficulty can be approved for SSD benefits. Speaking to a legal professional can provide guidance in pursuing a claim.

Source: Social Security Administration, "12.00 Mental Disorders - Social Functioning," accessed on Aug. 11, 2015

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