Keyword: ABAS-II, substantial limitations, intellectual function, age 18
Hearing Officer: Marcia A. Hudgins
Counsel present for Appellant: No
Counsel present for DMR: Douglas J. White
Appellant present: Yes
Hearing Officer Decision on January 14, 2006
Appeal approved by Commissioner on March 16, 2006
In 2003, the appellant's scores on WAIS-III were a verbal IQ of 69, performance of 74, and full scale of 69. The examiner concluded that the appellant had mild mental retardation. In 2005, the appellant received a verbal score of 66, performance of 74, and full scale of 66. The examiner at this time administered a WRAT-3 to assess the appellant's academic abilities and suggested that the appellant receive services to increase her independence. In 2004, ABAS-II was completed by the appellant's neighbor. The assessment showed that the appellant had limitations in the areas of functional academics with a scaled score of 5, health and safety with 4, leisure with 2, self-direction with 4, social with 2, and work with 5.
The DMR expert states that given the test results, the appellant did not meet the DMR definition of mental retardation because she did not have three or more scores in which she had substantial limitations. The expert also stated that although the appellant had an IQ below 70, she was not eligible because, given the ABAS-II test results, the appellant needed a low score on at least one additional area. The appellant did not provide any expert testimony. However, there was a testimony on behalf of the appellant that even though the appellant was living independently, she was not able to access medical care without her mother's support.
The hearing officer found that the appellant met the DMR eligibility criteria. There was no dispute that the two full scale IQ scores could be taken into consideration so as to make an eligibility decision although neither one was obtained prior to the appellant reaching the age of 18. In addition, no evidence suggested that the appellant's low functioning skills were not present before the age of 18. The hearing officer rather found the evidence that it was likely that the appellant had significantly sub-average intellectual functioning prior to age 18. The hearing officer also found that given the documentary evidence, the appellant had limitations in other areas: functional academics, health and safety, and work. She stated that although the appellant did not have three or more scores on the ABAS-II, the Department's regulations did not require an individual to have such substantial limitations to receive DMR support. Thus, the appellant was eligible for the support.