If a person suffers from a mental health disorder, they may be able to receive disability benefits from the SSA. As with a physical disability, someone making a claim for SSI or SSDI must prove that their disorder prevents them from holding a job. It can be more difficult to prove a mental impairment than to prove a physical disability, and there’s still a stigma attached to mental illness. Clients can click here to find more information on how the Social Security Administration handles mental health-related disability claims.
SSA-Covered Mental Impairments
The SSA keeps a list of impairments deemed “inherently disabling”, meaning that anyone suffering from a listed ailment is assumed to not be able to perform gainful activity. The Administration determines whether the symptoms meet its criteria as listed in the “blue book”. These impairments include:
6. Bipolar disorder
If a mental condition is not listed, or the symptoms don’t meet the SSA’s criteria, the client may still ask for benefits. They and their Chicago Social Security Attorney must prove that their condition prevents them from working and that the issue will persist for at least a year.
Assessment of Mental Disorders
As mentioned above, it is much harder to assess a mental impairment than a physical one. The impairment often prevents the client from describing their symptoms or following a treatment plan, and these issues often ebb and flow. There are few tests to evaluate the extent of a mental impairment, and without hard proof, examiners are left to base decisions on physicians’ records, questionnaires, and feedback from relatives.
Substance Abuse Claims
A person may claim disability for physical and mental impairments resulting from alcohol or drug abuse, as long as those factors no longer contribute to the disability. The client must exhibit certain behavioral changes in order for a claim to succeed, such as an organic mental disorder, depression, anxiety and personality disorder. If a person’s impairment improves with stopping the use of alcohol or drugs, the SSA will deny the claim. Clients were needing further help with learning the rules, or with appealing a claim that’s been denied, should call a Social Security Attorney in Chicago. Visit The Law Offices of Jeffrey A. Rabin & Associates, Ltd. online for more information.