It is possible to receive disability benefits for a mental disorder but it depends on the type of limitations your mental disorder comes with. Not everyone with a diagnosed mental disorder will qualify for disability benefits, but for those who meet the criteria for a disability according to the Social Security Administration (SAA), they will. The process of applying for disability benefits can be tedious and often involves collecting different medical documents. Talk to a Philadelphia disability lawyer if you have questions.
To receive disability benefits for a mental disorder, you must meet certain criteria for a disability first. In general, the SSA requires the mental disorder to inhibit you from continuing your job or from learning and obtaining a new job. The mental disorder must also be expected to continue for at least another 12 months.
There are multiple mental disorders listed in the SSA Blue Book of disabilities. Amongst these, there are affective disorders, intellectual disability, anxiety disorders, psychotic disorders, somatoform disorders, personality disorders, organic disorders, substance use disorders, and autistic spectrum disorders.
Affective disorders can include depression or bipolar disorders, while anxiety disorders may involve specific phobias, social anxiety disorder, or agoraphobia. Some of these can prevent people from working in certain environments. For example, people with agoraphobia often struggle with leaving their home. Those with autism or intellectual disability may struggle with performing certain mental or physical tasks or may be unable to communicate with others.
Organic disorders describe conditions that involve physical deterioration of the brain over time like Alzheimer’s Disease or other types of dementia. Psychotic disorders consist of schizophrenia and related disorders that involve hallucinations or delusions. Somatoform disorders involve anxiety about medical illnesses or physical symptoms that have no physical cause.
Substance use disorders involve an uncontrollable urge to continue using dangerous drugs despite problems with physical and mental decline. Severe substance use can lead to a decline in daily functioning.
The two main types of disability benefits available are Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI benefits are offered for people who are unable to work a job for a full 12 months. However, to qualify you must have paid the Social Security program and worked for the past five years. These benefits may be able to cover part of your income or all of your income if you are unable to work.
SSI benefits only require you to have an impairment that completely stops you from holding a daily job. However, to qualify, you cannot have assets that exceed $2,000. If you are married, your spouse must also have low income and assets. This program can also offer your monthly payments to cover lost income.
Consider hiring a Philadelphia lawyer if your disability benefits have been wrongfully denied or delayed for insufficient reasons. Obtaining the benefits you need can help you maintain an income for basic living expenses while living with your mental illness. Call Edelstein & Nelson at 1-800-300-0909 for a consultation today. We can help you with the application process or the appeals process if you are denied benefits.