Mental Problems: Problems Remembering and Concentrating

Almost every physical or emotional medical condition could potentially affect your memory and concentration.  For instance, chronic pain is in large part a mental limitation when it comes to your ability to work.  Because chronic pain is highly distracting, it can affect your ability to perform even simple tasks.  Other physical problems such as nausea, dizziness or fever could prevent you from being able to focus long enough to work.  Neurological conditions such a multiple sclerosis often cause interruptions to concentration, as do almost all mental health conditions.

If you are not able to remember or attend to even simple tasks long enough to complete them at a production pace, you could be considered disabled for that reason.  It is critical that your doctors have actually observed this problem, and the more the better.  Ultimately, it is your doctor’s acknowledgement that you have this problem that we need to get you benefits.  It is also helpful to have the statement of a former employer who has observed you to have this problem and can attest to the fact that you are not able to complete tasks in a timely or accurate manner.

I often hear people say, “When I walk into a room, I can’t remember what I went in there for!”  Unfortunately, we have all had that experience often enough that it is not usually going to be enough for you to be considered disabled.  If you are alleging a true memory impairment due to some organic brain injury or neurological impairment, then you will probably need to have a neuropsychological evaluation to prove it.  This is true if you are seeking disability benefits on the basis of memory loss alone.  Usually, however, memory loss is just one symptoms among many that are causing a person limitations of function, and the other problems are often easier and less expensive to prove.