What Is a Normal GAF Score?

Reviewed on 2/10/2021

What Is a GAF Score?

A GAF score is a 0-100 scale mental health clinicians use to evaluate how well a person can function in society. A GAF score of 91-100 is normal, while lower scores indicate psychosocial problems that make life difficult for the person under evaluation.
A GAF score is a 0-100 scale mental health clinicians use to evaluate how well a person can function in society. A GAF score of 91-100 is normal, while lower scores indicate psychosocial problems that make life difficult for the person under evaluation.

The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale is used by mental health professionals to evaluate an individual’s’ psychological, social, and occupational functioning. GAF scores are used to help mental health professionals determine the interventions and care patients need. 

Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scores are frequently used by the Veteran’s Administration (VA) to assess veterans’ mental health disorders.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) replaced the GAF score with the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2 (WHODAS 2.0) and recommends it over the GAF scoring to assess global functioning and impairment.

What Is a Normal GAF Score?

A GAF score is a range that describes an individual’s overall level of functioning and ability to carry out everyday activities.

The scale ranges from 0 to 100, with scores on the lower end indicating that the individual is having severe difficulty with daily activities and functions and may be a danger to themselves or others, and higher scores representing an individual with minimal difficulty in daily functions.

What Is the GAF Scale?

GAF Scores and What They Mean
GAF ScoreClinical Meaning
100-91No symptoms and superior functioning in a wide range of activities
90-81Absent or minimal symptoms (e.g., mild anxiety before an exam), good functioning in all areas, interested and involved in a wide range of activities
80-71If symptoms are present, they are temporary and expected reactions to psychosocial stressors (e.g., difficulty concentrating after family argument); slight impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning
70-61Mild symptoms (e.g., depressed mood and mild insomnia) or some difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning, but generally functioning well, has some meaningful interpersonal relationships
60-51Moderate symptoms (e.g., panic attacks) or moderate difficulty in social, occupational, or school functioning
50-41Serious symptoms (e.g., suicidal ideation, severe obsessional rituals) or serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., no friends, inability to keep a job)
40-31Impaired reality testing (psychosis) or communication or major impairment in work or school, family relations, judgment, thinking, or mood
30-21A person experiences delusions or hallucinations or serious impairment in communication or judgment or is unable to function in almost all areas (e.g., no job, home, or friends)
20-11In danger of hurting self or others (e.g., suicide attempts; frequently violent; manic excitement) or may fail to maintain minimal personal hygiene or significant impairment in communication (e.g., incoherent or mute).
10-1Patient is in persistent danger of severely hurting self or others or persistent inability to maintain minimal personal hygiene or has attempted a serious suicidal act with a clear expectation of death
0There is inadequate information to evaluate an individual

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Reviewed on 2/10/2021
References
https://www.albany.edu/counseling_center/docs/GAF.pdf

http://jaapl.org/content/42/2/173