TN 2 (06-15)
IQ scores generally tend to stabilize by age 16.
Continuing disability reviews (CDR) for adults usually do not require new IQ tests.
Often, an IQ test used in the comparison point decision (CPD), especially a test from
age 16 or older, will remain relevant and can be used in the CDR process.
Medical evidence of record sometimes includes new IQ scores. Other cases require new
IQ tests because a childhood test score from the CPD is no longer current. Compare
prior and current IQ scores in such cases.
If the CPD and current evidence include IQ scores from the same test (e.g., the WISC-R)
find medical improvement (MI) if:
Improvement in IQ scores exceeds one standard error of measurement (SEM), and
The medical or psychological consultant (MC/PC) finds the remaining evidence (including
evidence related to adaptive functioning) consistent with such a determination.
The SEM cannot be used as above to determine MI if the CPD and current evidence include
IQ scores from different tests (e.g., the WISC-R and the WISC-III). The MC/PC must
use clinical judgment to determine whether any IQ score change represents MI. They
must make a finding of MI only if the remaining evidence (including evidence related
to adaptive functioning) is consistent with such a finding.
Consider the error exception in the rare case involving clearly invalid CPD IQ scores;
i.e., because of:
Conflict with evidence despite efforts to reconcile the apparent differences, or
Adverse effect on measured IQ by another mental or physical disorder that cannot be
DI 33535.035 lists IQ tests where the “new or improved” exception may apply. For an explanation
of this exception, see DI
DI 24515.055 Evaluation Of Specific Issues Psychological/Psychometric Testing
DI 28010.020 Nature and Quantity of Change Needed to Find Medical Improvement (MI)
DI 28020.350 Prior Error - General