Two Types Of Programs Are Available For Disability For Mental Illness
The Social Security Administration oversees two federal Disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income . Both programs offer cash benefits to mentally disabled individuals who cannot work, but they are quite different.
Social Security Disability Insurance is awarded to individuals with a significant work history who paid Social Security taxes during their working years. If approved for SSDI, the amount you could receive depends upon how long you worked and how much you paid into the system. Currently, the average monthly payment for a disabled worker is $1,165.74, but the maximum amount could be up to $2,639.
Many people with mental issues havent worked much and dont have enough Social Security Disability work credits to qualify for SSDI, but they may be able to meet the requirements for Supplemental Security Income. SSI is for low-income, disabled individuals with a spotty, or absent, work history. It provides funds to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. If approved for SSI, the amount you could receive depends on what state you live in and how much monthly income you have. Currently, the average monthly SSI payment is $560.55, but the maximum amount could be up to $733.
How Your Residual Functional Capacity Is Used At A Social Security Hearing
Many claims are denied both at the Initial Application and Request For Reconsideration stages of the claims process.
At the hearing stage, the Administrative Law Judge will determine your mental RFC and give hypotheticals to the vocational evaluator who will testify at your hearing. The judge will ask the VE to take into consideration your RFC, as determined by the judge, your age, education and prior work experience in determining:
- Whether you can return to the least demanding job you held in the last 15 years,
- Whether there is other work you can do or could learn to do.
It is crucial that you are represented at a hearing to make sure the right questions are asked of the VE.
Qualifying For Benefits With Bipolar Disorder
The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of impairments. This list describes medical and mental health conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent an individual from participating in substantial gainful activity . There is a list for both adults and for children.
Bipolar disorder is listed in the SSAs listing of impairments. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as an individual with bipolar disorder, you must submit evidence of the following:
1. Medical documentation of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, characterized by at least three of the following symptoms:
- Pressured speech
You May Like: Does Eating Disorders Affect Fertility
For Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries
If you receive SSD benefits, you have a trial work period of nine months that allows you to test your ability to work without risking your benefits. Be sure to check how many months you have left of your trial work period before you begin. A month only counts if you earn over $720. After the trial work period ends, you will not receive benefits in months where you earn over $1000. For three years after the end of your trial work period, you can begin receiving benefits again if you stop earning $1000/month and you?re still disabled this is called Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, or EXR.
Denied Bipolar Disorder Disability Claims For Ltd Insurance
Many disability insurance policies refer to mental impairments such as bipolar disorder as a mental nervous condition. Compensation is usually only granted for 24 months when such conditions are considered. Bipolar disorder may not be a biologically based illness, which may not be accurate. As a result, there is a criticism that the policy language assigns the disorder an unacceptable label.
Insurance companies will use other tactics to justify their denial of your disability benefits. The following tactics are common:
- Claims of misdiagnosis
- Lack of medical evidence
- Pre-existing condition clauses in the policy language
Depending on the type of long-term disability policy you are fighting, your chances of overturning denied claims for bipolar disorder disability vary greatly.
How To Seek Disability Benefits For Bipolar Disorder
If you suffer from bipolar disorder, the severity of your symptoms may range from mild to severe. When it comes to the social security disability benefits available through Social Security Administration , any disorder or disability must meet a basic requirement. It must be serious enough to prevent you from taking up a meaningful job and earning a minimum amount of wages. If the condition is not that serious, you may not get the disability benefits.
The same principle applies if you suffer from bipolar disorder. If the condition is mild and you can manage it while going about the daily tasks, your condition will likely not qualify for disability benefits. On the other hand, if the disorder affects your daily activities so much so that you cant retain a normal employment, you may qualify for benefits.
Meeting A Disability Listing For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
The Social Security Administration will automatically grant disability benefits for depression or bipolar disorder if you can show you have the symptoms and limitations listed in its official disability listing for depression or bipolar disorder. The SSA will consider treatment notes from your doctor or psychologist, mental status evaluations, psychological testing, and any reports of hospitalizations.
Symptoms. To qualify for either disability benefits on the basis of depression, you must show you have at least five of the following symptoms:
- depressed mood
- involvement in risky activities with painful consequences that are not recognized, and/or
- increase in physical agitation or in in goal-directed activity .
Limitations. For either disorder, you must show that you also have a loss of abilities, either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” limitation in two or more of the following areas:
- adapting to change or managing oneself
- concentrating on and finishing tasks
- interacting with others using use socially appropriate behaviors, and/or
- understanding, remembering, or using information .
Recommended Reading: How Do Nutritionists Help With Eating Disorders
You May Qualify For Legal Assistance
Consult a Social Security lawyer before filing your disability benefits claim. You can sign up for a free phone call from an attorney near you today for free legal advice. Having a lawyer file your claim paperwork doubles your chances of getting disability benefits the first time you apply!
Since bipolar disorder is a mental condition that affects mood, proving it stops you from working may be challenging. As a result, benefit approval is much more difficult for claimants like you. In fact, the SSA approves just 21% of all first-time SSD applications. If you dont initially get benefits, you still have 60 days to appeal.
Throughout the process, its important to keep up treatment to ensure your disorder stays under control. Try to avoid serious manic or depressive episodes that could slow down the process.
How Much Disability Pays By Mental Health Diagnosis
Even though your earnings and work history determine how much Social Security Disability pays each month, your mental health diagnosis can have an indirect effect based on the onset age of symptoms.
Consider some of these condition-based factors that might influence the size of your check. Likewise, two related programs have other caveats to keep in mind.
You May Like: Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression
Contact Us To See If You Can Obtain Ssdi For Your Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
The SSDI lawyers atKrasno, Krasno & Onwudinjo understand how difficult it can be to live with a depressive or bipolar disorder.
Our highly experienced Social Security Disability lawyers work with your doctor to obtain the necessary information for your case. We fight to get your claim for benefits approved so you can get the financial and medical help you need.
To make an appointment, call us now at 243-4836. Consultations are free.
Impairments That Qualify For Bipolar Disorder Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration has established that a claimant with Bipolar Disorder must have a history of consistent symptomatic manic episodes, depressive syndromes, or a combination of both. Additionally, the claimants bipolar disorder should result in two of the following restrictions:
- severe limitation of daily activity,
- inability to interact with others in a normal way, or
- recurring episodes of decompensation, which last for an extended period of time.
If a claimant does not meet the aforementioned criteria, he/she may still qualify under a section in the Blue Book, which states that any individual with a medical history documenting at least two years of any chronic affective disorder, including Bipolar Disorder, can be granted disability benefits, despite the support of medication, if the impairment or ailment has resulted in:
- limitations of the capacity to perform basic work action, even when symptoms are controlled with psychosocial support and medication.
- the claimants condition must lead to persistent decompensation periods, or
- the residual illness process has caused a subsidiary adjustment that even a nominal boost in mental demands would cause the claimant to decompensate.
Because applying for disability benefits with a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis can be a complex and intimidating process, hiring a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer or disability advocate may be in a potential claimants best interest.
Also Check: Is Lying A Symptom Of Schizophrenia
How Does The Process Work
You receive a Ticket in the mail. You take this Ticket to any Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation agency , and if you both agree to work together, the EN or VR will help you with job training, finding employers, information about work incentives, materials to send to prospective employers, and other tasks that will help you go to work. Participating in the Ticket to Work program means that youre protected from a Continuing Disability Review based on your potential ability to work.
How To Apply For Social Security Disability With Bipolar Disorder
Error! You must specify a value for the Video ID, Width, Height and Anchor parameters to use this shortcode!
Bipolar disorder causes severe mood swings that can make learning, working, or other aspects of daily life difficult to perform. Fortunately, the Social Security Administration offers financial benefits to help alleviate these struggles.
These benefits, called Social Security Disability benefits, are available to those who meet certain requirements and successfully complete the application. An adult or child living with Bipolar disorder can benefit from understanding the entire disability process in order to gain the financial support deserved.
Recommended Reading: Can A Panic Attack Mimic A Heart Attack
Is Schizophrenia A Disability
With help from doctors and counselors, people with schizophrenia can live fulfilling, productive lives. Often, finding the right combination of medication and therapy can take time. In the meantime, if your schizophrenia symptoms have kept you from substantial work for at least one year, you might qualify for disability benefits.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
People who are bipolar have intense mood states. An extremely depressed state is called a depressive episode. The symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, despair and an inability to see even the possibility for happiness.
An overexcited state is called a manic episode and can include feelings of euphoria with grossly inappropriate energy levels. People in a manic state will take on projects beyond their ability because their judgment is impaired. Those in a manic state can have racing thoughts, insomnia and impulsive behavior.
Sometimes the person can have a mixed state that includes symptoms of mania and depression. This can result in irritable behavior and volatility.
You May Like: What Does Social Anxiety Feel Like
Your Rights Under The Ada
Many people with bipolar disorder are able to maintain a job. Bipolar disorder is one of the many conditions covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act . This law is designed to protect people with disabilities from discrimination in hiring, job assignments, promotions, pay, firing, benefits, layoffs, and all other employment-related activities.
The ADA only applies to businesses with 15 or more employees.
People with bipolar disorder may want to consider that when looking for employment or considering changing jobs.
Your spouse is also protected by the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that “The Act also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee, whether disabled or not, because of the individual’s family, business, social or other relationship or association with an individual with a disability.” For example, if your husband has bipolar disorder, you are protected if he requires emergency hospitalization and you must be away from work without warning because of this. The ADA is administered by the EEOC.
Other employees may not understand the rights a person with bipolar disorder has under the ADA. Often people think of disability only as physical impairment. Everyone should learn how the law applies so they know why accommodations may be required.
What Is Considered Appropriate Treatment For Bipolar Disorder
When evaluating your bipolar disorder long term disability claim, the insurance company will want to see youre receiving appropriate treatment. Even if your claim is approved, they will still require proof of ongoing treatment for your condition. The insurance company can easily use non-compliance and lack of appropriate care as a reason to deny or terminate your bipolar disorder long term disability claim.
To demonstrate appropriate treatment, your treatment team should include specialists such as a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Treatment options may include:
Again, it is important to follow your doctors recommendation. Your insurance company will want to see you are in treatment and doing everything in your power to improve your symptoms.
Don’t Miss: When Can Panic Attacks Happen
What Kind Of Evidence Do I Need To Meet The Criteria For Benefits
When you apply for benefits, you will need to submit adequate medical evidence that proves the severity of your condition to win your claim. This will include your psychiatric record along with any documentation of manic or depressive episodes, in-patient treatment at a mental health facility, and records of the treatments you have underwent.
You can also help substantiate your application with non-medical evidence, such as input from your employers, family members, and case workers about how your disorder has affected your ability to work.
Medical, psychiatric, and supportive testimonies are the bedrock of a disability claim. It is essential to ensure your records sufficiently meet the SSAs requirements or the Administration will deny your application for benefits.
It is a good idea to contact a lawyer before submitting your claim. Our attorneys know what evidence the SSA is looking for in order to approve a claimant for benefits.
Qualifying For Disability With Bipolar Disorder
Becoming approved for Social Security Disability benefits with bipolar disorder alone is rather quite difficult. This is due to the fact that many mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder are hard to validate and can be controllable through medication and/or psychotherapy. Generally people who are approved for benefits with bipolar disorder also have other disabling conditions such as schizophrenia, clinical depression, PTSD, etc.
The Social Security Administrations Blue Book lists the requirements for specific disabilities to qualify for disability benefits. Listing 12.00 deals with mental disorders and section 12.04 of the Blue Book lists the requirements necessary for an individual with an affective disorder to qualify for Social Security Disability. An applicants bipolar disorder must satisfy requirements A and B or must satisfy requirement C.
1.) Symptoms of depression at least 4 of the following:
- Appetite disturbance in addition to weight change
- Difficulty thinking, focusing or concentrating
- Loss of interest in the majority of activities
- Psychomotor retardation or agitation
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Sleep disturbance and inconsistency
Recommended Reading: Can You Get A Job With Ptsd
Qualifying For Disability By Showing That You Can’t Work Full
Your medical records might not contain the right evidence for Social Security to find you disabled under the listing for schizophrenia. But you can still qualify for disability benefits if you can show that your symptoms prevent you from working any job on a consistent basis.
To figure out whether you can work any jobs, the SSA will want to know all the ways that symptoms from your schizophrenia interfere with your activities of daily living . The agency asks about your ADLs because it makes sense that something you have trouble doing at home would be something you’d struggle with at work.
For example, if you’re too distracted from auditory hallucinations at home that you neglect basic chores like washing the dishes, you might have a hard time following even simple instructions from an employer. Or, if you have trouble communicating your thoughts to others, you probably won’t do well in a job where you’d have to deal with other employees or the public.
Social Security will review your medical record and your ADLs to determine the most you’re capable of doing mentally in a work setting, a process the agency calls assessing your residual functional capacity . For people with schizophrenia, a typical RFC will include limitations on working with other people, handling stress, and how long you can concentrate. If the SSA finds that no jobs exist that you can do with your limitations, the agency will award you benefits.
Q: I Live In Lancaster And Suffer With Severe Bipolar Disorder What Steps Can I Take To Increase My Chances Of Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disorder that affects nearly six million adults in the United States. The disease is characterized by debilitating mood swingsalternating between mania and depression. While many people can be successfully treated with medication and therapy, others suffer with the illness to the point that they are unable to work.
Although bipolar disorder is a serious illness that qualifies for Social Security Disability, those suffering from the disorder are often denied benefits after the initial application. Following are some tips for mounting a successful Lancaster Social Security Disability case:
Bipolar disorder can be crippling and seriously affect your ability to hold down a job. Unfortunately, Social Security Disability benefits are often denied for those suffering with bipolar disorder because there are no obvious physical symptoms. If you have been denied benefits for bipolar disorder, a compassionate and skilled Lancaster Social Security Disability lawyer at Schmidt Kramer can help.
Our compassionate attorneys focus on Social Security Disability law and know how to put together a winning appeal. Give us a call today at for your free case evaluation. We are on your side!
You May Like: What Va Rating Is Ptsd