Is Dyslexia a Disability?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) recognize dyslexia as a disability. However, each person’s experience with dyslexia can be different.

So, is dyslexia a disability under the SSA? Can you get disability benefits for dyslexia?

Yes, it’s possible to get disability benefits for dyslexia. The SSA doesn’t consider dyslexia itself as a disability since the limitations can vary for each person. However, if you can prove that your symptoms and limitations meet their definition of disability, you may qualify for benefits.

To gauge how likely you are to get benefits, you need to understand when the SSA will consider dyslexia a disability.

When is Dyslexia a Disability?

According to the SSA, a condition can only be considered a disability if:

  • it prevents you from working or engaging in a substantial gainful activity (SGA)
  • expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death

In most cases, the limitations and learning disorders associated with dyslexia can be disabling. But in recent years, proper interventions and assistive technologies have significantly improved the lives of people suffering from dyslexia.

This is why not all cases of dyslexia will qualify for disability benefits. If the SSA finds that you can still work when given proper learning interventions, assistive technologies, and vocational training, you won’t qualify for disability. This is especially true if you’re earning more than the monthly SGA income.

The boy has a Dyslexia disability.

Dyslexia in SSA’s Impairment Listing

If you didn’t know, the SSA keeps an impairment listing, more commonly known as the “blue book”. All impairments listed here are considered disabling regardless of your work or education history.

Dyslexia itself isn’t included in this listing. However, the list includes learning disorders and symptoms consistent with dyslexia, such as:

  • frequent distractibility
  • difficulty sustaining attention
  • difficulty organizing tasks
  • significant difficulties learning and using academic skills
  • difficulty concentrating
  • feelings of inadequacy

Aside from the symptoms above, the listing also considers neurological disorders a disability if it prevents you from:

  • understanding, remembering, or applying information
  • interacting or working with others
  • focusing on work activities or staying on task at a sustained rate
  • regulating your emotions, controlling your behavior, and maintaining well-being in a work setting

Obviously, all these symptoms and limitations need to be substantiated with proper medical evidence.

What Disability Benefits Can You Get For Dyslexia?

The SSA offers two types of benefits for disabled individuals: SSDI and SSI.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI is geared toward people who have paid social security taxes. So, to qualify, you’ll need to have:

  • a condition that meets the SSA’s definition of disability
  • enough work credits

In general, you’ll need 40 work credits to claim SSDI. Half of which must be earned in the last ten years before your disability began. Though younger workers may qualify even with fewer credits.

To earn work credits, you’ll need to have worked in jobs covered by social security. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, depending on your income. In 2023, every $1,640 of wages or income can earn you one work credit. Check the SSA’s site for the latest figures, as this amount tends to change every year.

The SSA uses a complicated formula to calculate your SSDI benefits. But in general, it’s a modest amount that can range from $800 to just a little over $2,000. As per the SSA, the average monthly SSDI payment in 2019 was only $1,234.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you don’t have enough work credits, you may still qualify for disability benefits through SSI. This is a needs-based benefit given to people who:

  • are disabled, blind, or aged 65 and older
  • earns a limited income
  • have limited resources (the things you own)
  • are US citizens or qualified aliens
  • are residing in any of the 50 states, the Northern Mariana Islands, or the District of Columbia

What qualifies as “limited income ” for SSI tends to change every year. In 2023, the maximum SSI income is $914 for individuals and $1,371 for couples. Remember to check the SSA’s site for the latest figures.

While “resources”, for SSI purposes, includes your:

  • cash
  • bank balance
  • stocks and bonds
  • life insurance
  • real estate
  • personal property
  • vehicles
  • anything you own that can be exchanged for food and shelter

Your SSI benefit amount is calculated by subtracting your countable income from the current maximum SSI monthly payment.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

While it’s not required, having a lawyer can greatly increase your chances of getting disability benefits for dyslexia.

Our experienced social security disability lawyer, Victor Malca, has already handled disability claims like yours. So he knows what medical and other supporting evidence the SSA wants to see.

For almost 30 years, he’s been helping disabled workers in Florida secure social security benefits. He can help you get the benefits you rightfully deserve too. Call us now for a free consultation.

VICTOR MALCA – Florida Workers Compensation & Social Security Disability Attorney

Victor Malca P.A. has over 27 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success when fighting for his clients puts him among the most trusted workers’ compensation attorney’s in Florida. He specializes in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claiming lost social security disability benefits.

Book a free consultation today. Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida.

About The Author

Judy Ponio is a writer and editor for the Victor Malca Law P.A. website and blog. She enjoys helping people in need with questions about social security disability and workers compensation law. She has a passion for helping those in need and the elderly with accurate legal information that can make a positive difference in their lives.