When you think about disability claims in Pennsylvania, you probably imagine someone falling off a ladder or throwing their back out lifting something. For people whose experience with impairments is limited to the physical, the only reason they can imagine not working is if their bodies are simply unable to go on walking or carrying.
However, people who have struggled with severe anxiety or depression know just how hard it can be to do even the simplest tasks while fighting these and other mental health issues. In fact, you can receive disability insurance benefits for a variety of psychological and mental disorders, just like you can for physical injuries.
Some of the mental disorders that may be covered include:
Most of us are guilty of saying “I’m so anxious” or “I’m so depressed” when we’re having a bad day, but for people who suffer from severe forms of these disorders, simply going about their daily lives can seem impossible, never mind dealing with stress from work. Imagine this: you work in an office setting, in a cubicle farm surrounded by co-workers. The very thought of social interaction makes you so anxious that you feel physically ill, and you can’t bring yourself to speak to anyone, so you hide behind your computer screen all day. Your work is subpar because you’re unable to communicate, and feeling alone and unliked just makes your depression worse. You’d like to make more money, but you know that if you took a promotion, you’d be forced to interact with people all day long, and they’d come to you with all of their problems and complaints. Many people find themselves so overwhelmed that they aren’t able to show up for work at all.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers anxiety disorders as covered under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book (the listing of disabling impairments), which covers mental disorders. Unfortunately, it can be hard to claim benefits for mental health reasons. It’s easy enough to prove that you’ve broken your leg. Someone might have witnessed your accident, but if not, you’re still going to have X-rays and documentation about visits to the emergency room and specialists.
When trying to prove mental health disorders, things become a lot more subjective. One psychologist or psychiatrist might diagnose a person with a severe anxiety disorder while another might not think it meets that level, and there’s no objective testing that can be done to determine who is right. Much of the diagnosis depends on things that are reported by a patient to their doctor, about thoughts and feelings that take place inside their own head.’
That’s why it’s so important to have any possible documentation ready when you’re filing a claim. Having an experienced lawyer to help you fill out the application and make sure all possible paperwork is accounted for will greatly increase your chances of being approved. For a free consultation, contact the Philadelphia disability law firm of Edelstein Martin & Nelson today at (215) 858-8440, or toll-free at (800) 887-4529.