Disability has continued to gain attention as a research topic in the mental health field. Both the SSA and the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research currently fund research aimed at understanding the vocational needs of severely mentally ill adults, particularly those in supportive employment programs. The National Institute of Mental Health funds research on disability and rehabilitation, particularly research on innovative approaches to increasing the individual's level of functioning and quality of life. All of these federal agencies anticipate continued funding of research on disability. This evaluation of the SSA's 1985 medical standards and guidelines by the APA is an example of the type of disability research that seeks to address issues related to individuals as well as important policy questions. In this evaluation, both the appropriateness and utility of the standards and guidelines were assessed, and the quality of disability decisions for severely mentally impaired applicants was studied.
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