What are "GAF SCORES" and why are they relevant to a finding of a disability based on psychiatric grounds?
Your GAF score is a “Global Assessment of Function” numerical short hand used by mental health practitioners to document how a patient is doing over all mentally. According to the DSM IV, there are numerous ratings set forth below.
For example a GAF of (91 - 100): would reflect superior functioning in a wide range of activities, life’s problems never seem to get out of hand, is sought out by others because of his or her many positive qualities. No symptoms.
A GAF of (81 - 90): Absent or minimal symptoms (e.g., mild anxiety before an exam), good functioning in all areas, interested and involved in a wide range of activities, socially effective, generally satisfied with life, no more than everyday problems or concerns (e.g., an argument with family members).
A GAF of (71 - 80): If symptoms are present, they are transient and expectable reactions to psychosocial stressors (e.g. difficulty concentrating after family argument); no more than slight impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., temporarily falling behind in schoolwork).
A GAF of (61 - 70): Some mild symptoms (e.g, depressed mood and mild insomnia) or some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., occasional truancy, or theft within the household), but generally functioning pretty well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships.
A GAF of (51 - 60): Moderate symptoms (e.g., flat affect and circumstantial speech, occasional panic attacks) or moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., few friends, conflicts with peers or co-workers).
A GAF of (41 - 50): Serious symptoms (e.g., suicidal ideation, severe obsessional rituals, frequent shoplifting) or any serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., no friends, unable to keep a job).
A GAF of (31 - 40): Some impairment in reality testing or communication (e.g., speech is at times illogical, obscure, or irrelevant) or major impairment in several areas, such as work or school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood) (e.g., depressed man avoids friends, neglects family, and is unable to work; child frequently beats up younger children, is defiant at home, and is failing at school).
A GAF of (21 - 30): Behavior is considerably influenced by delusions or hallucinations or serious impairment, in communication, or judgment (e.g., stays in bed all day, no job, home or friends).
A GAF of (11 - 20): Some danger of hurting self or others (e.g., suicide attempts without clear expectation of death; frequently violent, manic excitement) or occasionally fails to maintain minimal personal hygiene (e.g., smears feces) or gross impairment in communication (e.g., largely incoherent or mute).
A GAF of (1 - 10): Persistent danger or severely hurting self or others (e.g., recurrent violence) or persistent inability to maintain minimal hygiene or serious suicidal act with clear expectation of death.