Psychological and Mental Disorders – Disability Insurance Attorneys
Statistics show that approximately one in five Americans suffer from some type of mental illness or challenge. This can include a broad range of conditions including behavioral, emotional, or mental impairments. The unfortunate truth is that suffering from a psychological or mental disorder can make it difficult to maintain a job or simply enjoy life.
Depending on the specifics of the mental health condition you are diagnosed with, you may qualify for some type of Social Security disability benefits. It is important that you understand what psychological and mental disorders are covered by the Social Security Administration and what benefits may be available for you.
Reaching out to a Social Security lawyer from the law offices of Edelstein Martin & Nelson can help to ensure you have the best chance of receiving benefits if you suffer from a mental disorder. Our team has decades of experience helping people with mental disorders receive the disability benefits that they rightfully deserve. Contact our law firm for a consultation to get started on your case.
Basic Eligibility for Benefits
A person who suffers from a mental health disorder may be eligible to receive mental health disability pay and possibly other benefits through Social Security. In order to qualify, a claimant must be able to meet basic eligibility requirements. These requirements must be met before the application for benefits is reviewed any further. The basic eligibility requirements for mental health claims that an individual must meet include:
- They must have a formal diagnosis of a mental health or psychotic disorders or another potentially disabling condition.
- The diagnosed condition that they suffer from must have lasted 12 months or more so far.
After Social Security confirms that you meet the basic requirements for eligibility, they will then move forward to reviewing your medical condition in detail. The worker will verify that you meet all of the program’s requirements for Social Security Disability Income or for Supplemental Security Income.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits Based on Mental Illness
To determine whether or not you qualify for Social Security benefits, a person from the SSA will conduct a thorough review of your medical records. During the review, SSA workers will try to match your medical records to a disability listing within the blue book, which is the medical guide that is used by the Social Security Administration personnel to evaluate every disability application that is submitted.
Each mental health disability is listed with an outline of the severity level requirements. It also indicates the specific medical evidence that is needed to support a person’s claim for benefits. When it comes to mental illnesses and mental health disorders, they are generally located in section 12.00. These conditions include:
12.04, Affective Disorder: An individual may qualify for mental health disability benefits under the affective disorders classification if they suffer from bipolar disorder.
12.06, Anxiety-Related Disorders: A person may qualify for Social Security disability benefits for anxiety-related disorders if they suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder, severe phobia, a panic disorder, or another condition that is related to anxiety.
12.08, Personality Disorders: An applicant may qualify for mental health disability benefits under personality disorders if they have been diagnosed or suffer from severe clinical depression.
A thorough review of your medical records is needed in order to determine what mental health conditions you suffer from.
Reviewing Your Medical Records and Medical Evidence
While reviewing your medical records, there are various pieces of evidence that SSA will look for when it comes to a claim involving a mental health disorder. In general, evidence surrounding your debilitating mental health condition should include:
- Evidence pertaining to your diagnosis. This type of record is generally supplied by a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
- Any available brain scans or other evidence that may indicate that you have physical abnormalities that are documented. These could demonstrate an organic cause of the symptoms that you suffer from.
- Any records of medical treatment that you have received from medical professionals. This could include therapy, documented medications, and other management methods that have been used to treat you. These records should also indicate the treatment’s effectiveness in providing you with relief for any of the symptoms that you experience.
- You should have thorough documentation surrounding any episodes of increased symptoms that you have experienced and what treatments you may have received during these periods.
- Having solid documentation of the impact the symptoms that you experience have on your everyday life is critical. This documented evidence should indicate how your symptoms affect your activities that are performed in daily living, also known as ALDs.
ALDs can include your ability to interact with others and your ability to dress yourself. If you are able to clearly demonstrate that your mental disorder makes it nearly impossible for you to function outside of your home appropriately, you will have a strong chance of being approved for Social Security disability insurance benefits.
However, it is in your best interest to have a Social Security disability lawyer by your side who can help guide you through the legal process. If you do get denied initially, you will need a skilled attorney to help you win your appeal.
Types of Mental Health Conditions That May Warrant Disability Benefits
Suffering from any type of mental health condition is a challenge. In many cases, patients experience an array of emotions that make it difficult to work, spend time with family, or even just complete regular daily living tasks. There are several types of mental health conditions that can lead to people receiving Social Security disability benefits. Some of the mental health conditions and disorders that our Social Security disability lawyers have helped our clients receive benefits for include:
- Anxiety and depression: Anxiety and depression are some of the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions. These mental disorders can result in feeling hopeless, sad, or worried. People who suffer from anxiety may be diagnosed with panic disorders, social anxiety, or generalized anxiety.
- Psychosis: A person who suffers from psychosis may hallucinate, meaning they sometimes see things that are not really there. These psychotic disorders can make it incredibly difficult to engage with others and perform various tasks, let alone work a job.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: This disabling condition can result in people withdrawing from others, experiencing extreme anxiety and depression, and having problems sleeping. There are many cases where people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder qualify for disability benefits. This is sometimes the case with veterans who experience PTSD after coming back from war or another dangerous situation. It is important to understand that you have the right to draw from both Social Security Administration SSA benefits and veterans benefits for this condition.
- Intellectual disability: This is a developmental disorder characterized by below-average intellectual functioning and limitations in daily living skills.
- Bipolar disorder: This is a mood disorder characterized by extreme shifts in mood, energy, and activity levels. People who have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder may experience periods of intense highs and lows emotionally that can change suddenly and without warning.
- Phobias: These are intense and irrational fears of specific objects or situations that can interfere with daily life. Many people who experience phobias have a difficult time identifying the initial cause.
- Alzheimer’s disease/dementia: These are progressive neurological disorders that affect a person’s memory and ability to function safely in daily life.
- Panic attacks: These are sudden and intense periods of fear or discomfort that can include physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, sweating, and shortness of breath.
- Schizophrenia: This is a chronic mental disorder that affects how a person behaves, their train of thought, and what they feel.
- OCD: This is a disorder characterized by recurring and unwanted thoughts or obsessions. Patients may also exhibit repetitive behaviors or compulsions that they may feel driven to perform to alleviate anxiety.
- Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder: This is a disorder in which a person experiences multiple distinct personalities or identities that may take control of their behavior. These personalities can influence their mood and their behaviors dramatically.
- Mood disorders: Mood disorders can be particularly debilitating. This could include social anxiety disorder, depression, or another type of disorder that impacts the mental functioning of the patient.
If you suffer from a mental health condition, it is crucial that you know that you do not have to deal with the challenges that it brings by yourself. Whether you suffer from a major depressive disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another type of mental disability, our lawyers are here to help you get the benefits that you deserve.
Disability Benefits That are Available
When a mental health condition affects a person’s ability to work or engage with others, they may be able to receive benefits from the Social Security Administration. There are generally two types of disability benefits that a person may qualify for. These benefits include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSDI benefits are generally available to disabled adult workers who have paid taxes into the Social Security system. Alternatively, SSI is considered to be a need-based program that is only available to people who apply for them and meet strict limitations on income and assets. If you have never worked as a result of a mental illness, you will typically not qualify for SSDI benefits. You could possibly qualify for SSI, if you are not receiving financial assistance from anyone else such as family members.
If you are interested in claiming benefits for your mental health condition, you should reach out to our Social Security disability lawyers right away. Our team will be able to assess your situation and help you file a claim for benefits so you have the best chance of a favorable outcome.
The Process of Submitting an Application
When it comes to applying for SSDI benefits, you can submit an application online. You also have the ability to apply at a local SSA office. When it comes to applying for SSI benefits, however, it is important to recognize that there is no online application for claimants. This is due to the fact that an interview is generally part of the standard application process. For this reason, an individual must show up in person to apply in order to be interviewed. In some cases, an interview may be able to be conducted over the phone.
After Being Approved for Disability Benefits
After being approved for disability benefits when suffering from a mental illness, you can expect that your case will be reviewed every year. There are some cases where applicants suffer from conditions that are generally not going to improve. In these cases, a review will likely only be conducted every seven years.
Since mental health conditions are generally treated on an ongoing basis, you can expect that you will have to check in annually with SSA. As long as your condition remains the same year to year, you will not risk losing the benefits that you are entitled to for your disability.
Let Our Disability Law Firm Help You
If you suffer from a mental illness, you may struggle to function in every day life, let alone deal with filing extensive paperwork to get benefits from Social Security. Fortunately, there are benefits that are available to help you alleviate some of the financial burdens that you face, and our attorneys can help you get them.
If you believe that you are entitled to disability benefits due to suffering from a mental illness, or you have been denied after initially applying on your own, you should reach out to our nationwide Social Security disability lawyers at Edelstein Martin & Nelson right away. Our team has decades of experience helping people who suffer from mental illnesses get the benefits that they are entitled to.