Several speech disorders, including stuttering, qualify for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. However, not all speech disorders are treated alike when it comes to processing or approval of your claim. Stuttering is a speech disability that causes elongation, blocking or repetition of sounds, syllables or words. This can mean impaired speech that can often be humiliating for sufferers. Stuttering can impact a person’s ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings effectively.
As many as 3 million Americans suffer from stuttering. This problem commonly manifests itself between the age of 2 and 5. While many children overcome their stuttering through therapy, the stuttering continues into adulthood in about 25% of cases. Stuttering can severely impact your ability to perform your job well if it involves interpersonal contact or communication with others.
To recover disability benefits under the Social Security disability benefits program, your disability must meet the criteria set out by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in its Blue Book listing. Stuttering is not a separate listing, but that does not mean that it does not qualify for benefits. This is where your Residual Functional Capacity will come into consideration. The SSA will take into consideration the extent to which your speech disability or stuttering impacts your ability to work and earn a sustainable income. The agency will also consider if you can perform other jobs that can earn you an income before considering you eligible for benefits.