SSA Updates Terminology for Californians with Intellectual Disability
This winter, the Social Security Administration proposed it was time to remove the term “mental retardation” from their books. Replacing all instances of the old term in SSA databases and other material would be the preferred term, “intellectually disabled.”
The proposal came roughly two years after Congress enacted Rosa’s Law, legislation mandating the verbiage change in all federal education, health, and labor policy. Though the authority of Rosa’s Law did not extend to the SSA, officials at the administration felt the change was overdue.
This was the second push to oust terminology. A prior attempt in 2010 was unsuccessful.
Advocates feel the old verbiage is outdated and offensive. Slang variations on “mental retardation” have gained notoriety in our culture as an insult. Because of this, many people feel that the negative connotations of the phrase have long outweighed any purpose it may have served as a diagnostic tool.
With the gradual recognition of “intellectually disabled” in public awareness, advocates hope that there will be a greater understanding of obstacles faced by individuals with issues of this nature.
The SSA assures claimants that they’ve taken steps to ensure that the language change will in no way negatively impact the process for evaluating or distributing claims in this category.
If you are investigating the process of filing for Social Security disability benefits for a loved one with intellectual disabilities in Northern California—or if you’ve already received a denial decision—it may be in your best interests to review your case with a Chico Social Security disability lawyer. Reach out by calling 888.761.7383. Don’t wait another day.
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