What is a GAF score?

October 14, 2015

 

For those people filing for disability due to mental impairments, a common phrase they may hear is "GAF score". So what is a GAF score and what is it used for?

 

GAF stands for Global Assessment of Functioning and a GAF score is a way for therapists to characterize a person's general functioning in life. A score of 100 to 91 indicates "superior functioning", 90-81 indicates "good functioning", 80-71 indicates "no more than slight impairment", 70-61 indicates "some mild symptoms", 60-51 indicates "moderate symptoms, 50-41 indicates "serious symptoms", 40-31 indicates "major impairments", 30-21 indicates "unable to function in almost all areas", 20-11 indicates "needs considerable supervision to prevent hurting others or self", and 10-1 indicates "needs constant supervision". For a more detailed description of the GAF score categories, try visiting this website.

 

So why does Social Security care about your personal GAF score? Well if an individual is claiming he cannot work because of mental impairments, it is very relevant to know how well a medical physician thinks the individual can function. As I've said before, this one score is not the "end all be all" for your Social Security Disability claim. However, it does generally give Social Security a clearer picture of how much a claimant's mental impairments affect his everyday life.

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