Dyslexia is a developmental reading disorder that makes it difficult to read and process written language. Some problems related to the dyslexia can include learning how to speak, spelling, reading, writing, memorizing and correctly preforming math operations. You are unlikely to receive Social Security disability benefits just for being dyslexic, but the disorder is not completely ignored. Social Security will evaluate the effect of your dyslexia and any other conditions to determine if you meet the disability guidelines.
Social Security's listing of impairments used to determine the disability requirements is referred to as the "Blue Book." As of 2014, dyslexia is not listed in the Blue Book. Although dyslexia can make some aspects of daily life challenging, the Social Security Administration generally does not find the impairments severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. Under Social Security disability law, you are disabled if you can no longer do the work you did previously or cannot adjust to other work because of the disability.
Mental or Physical Disabilities
Your chances of receiving disability benefits may increase if you have another mental or physical disability in addition to your dyslexia. The combination of dyslexia and another disorder, disease or illness may be severe enough to impair your ability to work. For example, dyslexia is associated with a higher risk of Attention Deficit Disorder. If you were suffering from ADD and dyslexia, Social Security would review the impact of both conditions together. If you have a physical disability that keeps you from doing manual labor or standing, your dyslexia may rule out any office or secretarial jobs as well.
In severe cases, dyslexics are unable to read or write. Since dyslexia is not listed in the Blue Book, Social Security uses a grid of rules to determine if the applicant is disabled based on age, education, skills and education level. For an illiterate dyslexic to qualify, he must suffer from an additional physical impairment. He also must be at least 45 years old with an unskilled job history.
When filing for Social Security disability benefits, list all disorders, not just those you think are the most significant. Even conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity should be reported. Mental impairments, including anxiety and depression can also prevent you from working when combined with other disorders.
- Disability Secrets: Can I Get Disability Benefits for My Dyslexia?
- Disability Secrets: Multiple Disabilities - Social Security Must Consider Combined Effects
- Social Security Administration: Disability Planner -- What We Mean By Disability
- The International Dyslexia Association: Frequently Asked Questions About Dyslexia
- Social Security: Disability Evaluation Under Social Security