How To Qualify For Ssdi If You Suffer With Bipolar Disorder
Many applicants for SSDI due to bipolar disorder are on some type anti-depressant medication prescribed by a family doctor or general practitioner. Although these medications would appear to support the applicant in fact suffers from this mental illness, medications alone will likely do little in establishing disability under Social Security guidelines unless an individual receives treatment from or has at least been evaluated by a mental health professional.
Having a lengthy period of treatment with a mental health professional can make a claim for SSDI benefits much stronger.If a person files for benefits due to bipolar disorder, it’s likely the Social Security Administration will set up a comprehensive examination with a psychologist to assist in determining whether the applicant is disabled. Unfortunately, these doctors are paid by the Social Security Administration , and rarely do their opinions support a claim for disability. Therefore, it’s absolutely imperative an individual seek his or her own treatment or at least an evaluation with a mental health care professional prior to applying for benefits.
The SSA has specific requirements for SSDI qualification due to bipolar disorder. The claimant must have a history of consistent symptomatic manic episodes, depressive syndromes, or both. In addition, a person must establish that he or she has at least two of these restrictions because of bipolar disorder:
Applying For Ssdi On A Parents Record
Disabled children can often receive benefits on their parents records, potentially on an ongoing basis. The rules are different for minor children and adult children, but both age groups can often receive ongoing benefits from SSDI on their parents record without needing to apply to need-based SSI programs.
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Medical Evidence Required For Disability Based On Bipolar Disorder
At the SSAâs request, your treating doctor should submit to the SSA your psychiatric medical record showing the entire history of your bipolar disorder, including documentation of any severe or violent manic episodes. Your psychiatric record should include all treatments attempted, including any mood-stabilizing medications that youâve tried, such as lithium, carbamazepine, or valproic acid, what your current prescribed therapy is, and whether you regularly comply with the prescribed therapy . Your medical record should also include the efficacy and side effects of each medication, and how their side effects, along with your symptoms, affect your daily activities, your functioning, and your ability to hold a job.
If there is evidence in your medical file that your doctor suspects your use of alcohol or drugs compounds your emotional problems, this can affect your claim. Learn more in our article on how alcoholism and drug dependence affect disability claims.
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Understanding The Va Disability Rating Levels
The VAs rating range for bipolar disorder is from 10% to 100%, depending on how serious the symptoms are and how much they affect your daily life. Representation by a lawyer, who presents lay testimony and organized evidence can help boost your VA disability rating and your compensation. Your family, friends and coworkers can provide information about how your symptoms affect your day-to-day life. An experienced VA disability attorney can build a case, have your testimony and evidence heard, and help you get the compensation you deserve.
The VA rates disability from service-connected bipolar disorder according to the following symptoms. Please not that these are general descriptions your Veterans Law Group attorney can provide you with much more specific information:
Starting A Disability Claim For Bipolar Disorder
There are several easy ways you can begin your disability application:
- Go online at .
- Go in person to your local Social Security field office. You can find your nearest SSA office here.
Applying for disability benefits is a time-consuming process, and can be intimidating if you’re doing it without any help. Consider getting an experienced disability lawyer or advocate on your side. A lawyer or advocate will be able to sort through your medical records, strengthen any weaknesses in your application, and handle communications with Social Security.
You could be eligible for up to $3,148 per month in SSDI benefits
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Does Bipolar Disorder Qualify Me For Social Security Benefits
The symptoms of bipolar disorder can be extreme enough to prevent an individual from working. If this is the case for you, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition characterized by alternating periods of mania and depression. There are two main types of bipolar disorder, Bipolar I and Bipolar II, and each may have slightly different criteria for diagnosis.
Bipolar I is characterized by distinct periods of mania and depression, though some individuals will also experience symptoms of hypomania, a state of mania where symptoms are milder. In order to be diagnosed with Bipolar I, manic symptoms must last at least one week and occur for most of the day every day or result in hospitalization. Approximately 30% of individuals diagnosed with Bipolar I experience severe symptoms.
Bipolar I is most commonly diagnosed around age 18. Individuals with Bipolar I are often diagnosed with additional mental health conditions, such as anxiety. In order to be diagnosed with Bipolar I, individuals must also experience a period of significant depression.
How To Win Disability Benefits For Bipolar Mood Disorder
Since you cant physically see bipolar, benefit providers cant verify the seriousness of your symptoms. So, they may view your claim with skepticism. After all, you could exaggerate your symptoms to appear more disabled than you are.
Many people with bipolar can manage their symptoms and continue working. So, you need to focus on proving that your case is different.
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Mental Impairments Are Paid The Same Benefit Amount As Physical Impairments
Some people may assume that a serious orthopedic injury is recognized as more real or worth more than a mental impairment like bipolar disorder. This is absolutely untrue.
The only difference between how Social Security assesses various impairments for severity is whether they meet the criteria published by the Social Security Administration in its Index of Impairments, a volume commonly called the Blue Book. The criteria against which a respiratory impairment is measured will be different from the criteria used to measure the severity of someones bipolar disorder.
Once a disability is approved as severe enough to qualify for disability benefits, and the claimant has been deemed otherwise eligible, the monthly benefit payment amount is established by factors entirely unrelated to the nature of the disability.
Disability Requirements The 5 Steps
STEP 1 is the individual working? The SSA definition of working is engaging in substantial gainful activity. Earning more than $860 a month as an employee is enough to be disqualified from receiving Social Security disability benefits.
STEP 2 is the disability severe enough to significantly limit the individuals ability to perform basic work activities needed to do most jobs?
STEP 3 does the the disability meet or equal a medical listing? For a bipolar person this will mean satisfying the requirements of Section 12.04 Affective disorders.
STEP 4 Can the individual perform work he/she has done in the past, despite the disability? If SSA finds that a person can do his/her past work, benefits are denied. If the person cannot, then the process proceeds to the fifth and final step.
STEP 5 looks at age, education, work experience and physical/mental condition to determine what other work, if any, the person can perform. To determine disability, the SSA follows vocational rules, which vary according to age.
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Ssi And Bipolar Disorder
Applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits based on your Bipolar Disorder can be challenging. The signs and symptoms of Bipolar Disorder are often misunderstood. If you are suffering from Bipolar Disorder and are no longer able to work, you should contact an attorney specializing in Social Security Disability to improve your chances of receiving SSDI or SSI benefits.
Qualifying For Disability Benefits With Bipolar Disorder In Pennsylvania
Bipolar disorder affects an estimated 5.7 million adults across the United States. Most patients start to notice symptoms around age 25, though others may not experience any symptoms until they reach their forties or fifties. But regardless of a patients age at onset, bipolar disorder can have debilitating effects that interfere with your ability to work. If youre struggling with employment because of your bipolar disorder, you may be a good candidate for monthly disability benefits through the SSA, or Social Security Administration. The disability lawyers of Young, Marr & Associates can help. Our attorneys have over two decades of experience representing clients in Pennsylvania, and our legal team enjoys an 80% success rate compared to the industry average of just 62%. We work with both child and adult disability claimants, and can help you navigate the appeals process if youve already been denied. To schedule a free and private case evaluation, call our law offices at 701-6519 in Pennsylvania today.
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Contact Our Experienced Nationwide Firm
If you or someone you know is looking to receive long term disability benefits and needs the help of an experienced attorney, speak with our nationwide LTD attorneys today. Our firm has significant experience helping people just like you obtain or defend their long term disability benefits. Contact Walker & Hern for a free consultation.
What Are 4 Signs Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that causes episodes of extreme highs, known as manic episodes, as well as extreme lows, known as depressive episodes. People with bipolar disorder have intense emotional highs and lows that go beyond what most people experience, and they have periods of time in between episodes where they feel normal. These periods may be brief or they may last for months they are different for each person. Bipolar disorder affects the way a person feels, thinks, and acts. These symptoms can interfere with daily life and cause distress. Several of these symptoms must be present for at least a week for an accurate diagnosis of bipolar disorder. There are four signs of bipolar disorder..
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Ltd Policies And Mental Illness Limitations
One thing to keep in mind when filing for long term disability is whether your long term disability insurance policy includes a Mental Illness Limitation.
Policies that contain a Mental Illness Limitation typically limit your benefits to two years if you are disabled due to a psychiatric condition such as depression or anxiety. Of course, each policy is different, so the prescribed maximum period may be shorter or longer depending on the terms of your particular policy.
Some policies with Mental Illness Limitations contain exemptions for certain mental conditions including, occasionally, bipolar disorder. Its important to review your policy closely to see whether your bipolar disorder will fall under the Mental Illness Limitation.
If you are solely disabled due to bipolar disorder and your policy contains a Mental Illness Limitation that does not exempt it, your benefits will most likely stop when the maximum allowable period expires. Unfortunately, the severity of your mental illness will become irrelevant after the maximum allowable period expires.
However, if you can demonstrate that you are disabled due to objective cognitive problems, your benefits may extend beyond limitation period. A neuropsychological evaluation, as discussed earlier, can provide this evidence.
If your policy includes bipolar disorder as an exempted mental condition, you may continue receiving benefits beyond the limited period.
Disability Benefits Program Options
You will most likely be applying for one of two main disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income .
SSDI is for disabled workers and who have paid Social Security taxes from their paychecks. You will asked for a job history when you apply, which will show that you have worked for long enough to qualify for SSDI. This makes SSDI more suited for working adults. http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ssdi/qualify-for-ssdi
SSI is another benefit program similar to SSDI, but is intended specifically for elderly and disabled individuals. Instead of a job history, you will be asked to demonstrate that you meet the SSAs strict financial limits. This makes children good candidates for SSI, since they will not have had much experience working. In the case of applications for children, the Social Security Administration will ask a parent to submit part of their finances for evaluation as well.
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What Are The Causes Of Bipolar Disorder
As with most psychiatric illnesses, the exact causes are often difficult to pin down. However, medical literature seems to indicate that certain factors increase the risk of developing bipolar disorder or act as a trigger for someone to experience their first bout.These factors generally include genetics, whether you have a close relative, like a parent, sibling, or child with bipolar disorder or other psychiatric severe illness.
Oftentimes, genetic disorders lead to hormonal imbalances that can play a role in developing the disease.Traumatic events such as the death of a loved one, a very unpleasant divorce, and job loss have also been correlated with developing bipolar disorder. There is some evidence that substance abuse can cause or exacerbate bipolar disorder.
Are you seeking Social Security Disability benefits for your Bipolar condition? ContactNolan & Shafer PLC today at orcontact us online to learn about your options!
Length And Levels Of Depression
Your depression or bipolar disorder must have lasted or be expected to last for at least a year, and must be at a level at which you would be unable to perform a job on a consistent and regular basis. The SSA does not require that you be depressed every day of the month, but you must show your depressive symptoms occur frequently enough to prevent you from working.
Quite often, your medical treatment records for a particular visit will say that you are “feeling better” or that your depression has “improved.” The SSA might use these records as a reason to deny you disability benefits. If your medical records include such notes, you can explain at a hearing before an administrative law judge whether you have good days and bad days with your disorder, and how often each occurs.
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Work With A Disability Benefits Attorney
Like depression, a heart condition, or any type of physical disability, bipolar disorder is an impairment that may prevent a person from engaging in work. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, you may qualify for SSDI benefits. A Philadelphia disability benefits attorney can help you gather evidence and file an application, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Based in Philadelphia, Bross & Frankel has offices in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey to best serve our clients. Since 1995, we have represented individuals with disabilities in their quest to obtain benefits. To learn more or to schedule a free claim review, contact our office today at 795-8880, or reach out online.
Speak with an experienced disability lawyer about your claim today.
- Social Security Disability / SSI Claims
- Veterans Disability Compensation & Pension
- Long Term Disability Claims / ERISA Benefits
- Workers Compensation Claims
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What You Need To Prove You’re Disabled
In order to prove that you have bipolar disorder, you should get a statement from your doctor or psychiatrist about your condition. Your doctor’s report will be most influential if the doctor has been treating you for a while.In addition to a doctor’s report, it’s helpful to provide some or all of the following documentation:
- letters from employers and former employers explaining how your disorder affected your job performance
- notes from friends and relatives explaining how your disorder affects your daily life, and
- letters from a therapist explaining that the effects of bipolar continue despite treatment and your attempts to manage your disorder.
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Can You Get Disability Benefits For Bipolar Disorder
A significant percentage of people who experience bipolar disorder may have the opportunity to qualify for disability for bipolar disorder. The Social Security Administration considers bipolar disorder to be a disability when a person meets the medical and work requirements as stated within the SSAs Blue Book. If a person meets the eligibility requirements for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, they would also need to meet the work and medical requirements set forth by the SSA. If the individual is seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, the applicant also has to meet specific work requirements relating to how many work credits they would have had to earn while they were employed.
The calculation of the work credits is done based on an applicants age and for how much time that individual has worked. On average, a person needs approximately 40 credits to attain disability benefits, out of which 20 of those credits need to have been earned during the past 10 years before the individual became disabled. If a person meets the work requirements, then the SSA will consider the medical requirements next. An applicant must also meet the medical requirements that the SSA specifies with regard to qualifying for disability benefits relating to bipolar disorder.
What Are My Chances For Eligibility
To get protection under the ADA, you have to prove that a disability like bipolar disorder severely limits your ability to work. The ADA covers companies with 15 or more employees.
Getting Social Security benefits can be trickier. You need to have a disability and be a part of a low-income household or have worked for a certain number of years.
Not everyone with bipolar disorder qualifies. About two-thirds of applications for disability benefits are denied at first.
To get Social Security benefits, the SSA will ask you to show that:
- youve lived with bipolar disorder for at least 1 year
- your condition is severe enough to prevent you from doing your job or any other job
- your disability will last for more than a year
To qualify for SSDI, you need to have worked at a job where you paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years.
The older you are, the more years you need to have worked. A 42-year-old must have worked for 5 years, while a 30-year-old only needs 2 years of work.
To qualify for SSI, you need to earn less than a certain amount of money. That amount varies by state. You also cant have more than $2,000 in assets .
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