C Common Medical Conditions Which May Result In Whole Or In Part From Bipolar Disorder And/or Its Treatment
Section C medical conditions may result in whole or in part as a direct result of a Bipolar or Related Disorder, from the treatment of a Bipolar or Related Disorder or the combined effects of a Bipolar or Related Disorder and its treatment.
Conditions listed in Section C of the Entitlement Considerations are only granted entitlement if the individual merits and medical evidence of the case determines a consequential relationship exists. Consultation with Medical Advisory is strongly recommended.
If it is claimed a medication required to treat a Bipolar or Related Disorder resulted in whole, or in part, in the clinical onset or aggravation of a medical condition the following must be established:
- Sexual Dysfunction
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
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;
- Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized; or
- Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation;
2. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding, remembering or applying information;
- Interacting with others;
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace;
- Adapting or managing oneself.
3. The mental disorder is serious and persistent, with a documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least two years, with documentation of both:
- Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of the mental disorder; AND
Benefits For Disabled Adults
SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Schizophrenia From Acid
When Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability
Mack burned some bridges, figuratively, before he found out he had bipolar disorder. His behavior during his manic phases alienated friends and employers. When he was depressed, he found himself completely unable to leave his house for any reason, even to go to work. After being diagnosed, Mack started on medication and therapy designed to help him function and support himself. However, when is bipolar disorder a disability that qualifies for disability benefits? Mack could certainly use some financial support.
Bipolar Disorder Risk Factors
When someone develops bipolar disorder, it usually starts when they’re in late adolescence or young adulthood. Rarely, it can happen earlier in childhood. Bipolar disorder can run in families.
Men and women are equally likely to get it. Women are somewhat more likely than men to go through “rapid cycling,” which is having four or more distinct mood episodes within a year. Women also tend to spend more time depressed than men with bipolar disorder.
Bipolar disorder usually develops later in life for women, and theyâre more likely to have bipolar disorder II and be affected by seasonal mood changes.
A combination of medical and mental issues is also more common in women. Those medical issues can include thyroid disease, migraine, and anxiety disorders.
Some things that make you more likely to have bipolar disorder include:
Having a family member with bipolar disorder
Going through a time of high stress or trauma
Drug or alcohol abuse
Certain health conditions
Many people with the condition abuse alcohol or other drugs when manic or depressed. People with bipolar disorder are more likely to have seasonal depression, co-existing anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Also Check: How To Help Your Partner With Depression
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.
What If I Had A Disability In The Past
You are still protected from discrimination if you had a;disability;in the past. That means that if your past mental health problem had a;substantial, long-term and adverse effect, you will get the protection of the Equality Act.
Four years ago, Mary had depression that lasted 2 years and had a substantial effect on her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. She has not experienced depression since then.
If Mary is treated worse by her employer because of her past mental health problem, she will be protected by the Equality Act.
Also Check: Can Childhood Trauma Cause Ptsd
Being Disabled And Fighting The Government
Getting a disability tax credit is easier than getting disability assistance, to be sure, but I strongly suspect there is a sweeping, unwritten policy to deny many of the applications anyway. Its a way of saving money. And the government hopes that people with a disability will just walk away. Because people with a disability like bipolar have the least amount of energy and brain space to take on bureaucratic nonsense and many of us will have to choose not to fight simply for our own mental health. I know that. I know that denying me something that I would consider to be a right of being in the Canadian society isnt a personal thing.
But it feels very personal.
Honestly, it was incredibly difficult for me to even admit to having a disability, let alone asking for help because of it, because Im an extremely independent person and I dont like getting help from other people. And now I feel slapped because of it. It hurts.
A Real Bipolar Disorder Disability
But even if none of that convinces you, you should understand this: bipolar disorder is certainly is a condition that limits a persons ability to participate in daily activities.
In fact, I cant tell you the number of daily activities that are limited by my bipolar disorder. Everything from major things like working for a living to tiny things like showering are dramatically impacted by my illness. Every day is impacted by my bipolar disorder disability. I am in no way exaggerating when I say that.
Also Check: Does Bipolar Mean Your Crazy
Veterans With Bipolar Disorder Disability
Veterans suffering from disabling mental disorders that occurred in or were aggravated during service may obtain disability compensation. Bipolar disorder is considered a disability by the VA. Its listed in their Schedule for Rating Disabilities under;Mental Disorders, and specifically under;Mood Disorders.
The VA rates disabilities according to loss of function and the effect on your ability to work and earn a living. The VA schedule doesnt cover all forms of mental illnesses, despite how disabling the condition may be. An incorrect diagnosis could result in denial of benefits you would otherwise be entitled to receive for bipolar disorder.
Bipolar And Being Denied The Disability Tax Credit
I dont really go around shouting the fact that I am disabled. I have an invisible disability so I suppose that affords me the luxury of not having people know. But, in fact, severe bipolar disorder is a disability. Ask anyone who lives with it. They will tell you how disabling it is. Its horrendous. And, in Canada, we have a disability tax credit. Its supposed to making working a little bit easier for people with a disability. Well, I have a disability and I was denied the disability tax credit.
Originally, when I opened the letter denying my disability tax credit I became fairly hysterical and my writing reflected said hysteria. I need this tax credit for tax season. And damn it, who are these government idiots to tell me that I, a person with bipolar, a person who has been under serious healthcare for 16 years, am not disabled enough to get it? What right do these people have to judge my life? I really wanted to find the signatory of the letter and possibly cause him bodily harm.
But I calmed down.
You May Like: What Does A Bipolar Episode Look Like
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.
Improving Your Chances For Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits
Its particularly important to see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can document the progression of your illness;because this can sometimes be the only official record of your depression, mania or bipolar disorder. If you live with or frequently see family members or friends, ask them to document how your behavior has changed over time as well. While manic periods can occasionally be pleasant, its very important that you follow any course of treatment that youre given; noncompliance can lead to a denial of benefits.
You May Like: How Do You Get Panic Attacks
Is Bipolar Hereditary
Bipolar disorder is frequently inherited, with genetic factors accounting for approximately 80% of the cause of the condition. Bipolar disorder is the most likely psychiatric disorder to be passed down from family. If one parent has bipolar disorder, theres a 10% chance that their child will develop the illness.
What Is The Outlook
Bipolar disorder isnt curable. But with proper treatment and support from family and friends, you can manage your symptoms and maintain your quality of life.
Its important that you follow your doctors instructions regarding medications and other lifestyle choices. This includes:
Including your friends and family members in your care can be especially helpful.
Its also helpful to learn as much as you can about bipolar disorder. The more you know about the condition, the more in control you may feel as you adjust to life after diagnosis.
You may be able to repair strained relationships. Educating others about bipolar disorder may make them more understanding of hurtful events from the past.
Read Also: Can You Have Mild Schizophrenia
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.
Real Disabilities Should Be Seen And Not Thought
One of the problems with bipolar disorder is that its an invisible illness. People often cant see how sick a person is with bipolar disorder and so people fail to realize that it exists at all. When the person standing next to you is blind, that disability is obvious thanks to a white cane. When the person standing next to you has bipolar disorder, that disability is invisible but that doesnt mean it doesnt exist.
But, of course, many invisible medical conditions can be disabilities. For example, few people would argue that constant migraines werent a disability, and yet they are completely invisible .
Also Check: How Early Can Schizophrenia Start
Psychiatric Disability Or Mental Illness
The words psychiatric disability and mental illness are often used interchangeably. The term mental illness is typically used in a medical context to refer to a wide range of conditions related to emotional and mental health. The term psychiatric disability is typically used in a legal or policy context to refer to impairments covered under the ADA
What Is Bipolar Disorder Disability
Also called manic depression, this condition is a brain disorder that can cause excessive mood swings, where a person cycles between depressive states and high states . These cycles can occur over long periods or may occur at the same time.
During mania, the person may experience euphoria, rage, sleeplessness, and rushed thoughts and speech. In severe manic episodes, the patient may become delusional or suffer hallucinations. In the depressive state, the person suffers extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, too much or too little sleep, as well as suicidal thoughts and ideations. These unusual shifts in energy levels lead to an overall inability to function normally.
Many factors that are cited as causes of bipolar disorder disability include:
- Imbalance in brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters
- Hormonal imbalance
- Traumatic experiences or extreme stress
Bipolar disorder and depression can also accompany an illness or injury as a secondary condition.
You May Like: What Phobia Is Stage Fright
The Ada And Psychiatric Disability In The Workplace
- Definitions. The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. When job applicants or employees have a mental health condition that meets this criteria, they have workplace rights under the ADA. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 recently broadened the definition of disability to provide legal protections against employment discrimination for more individuals with disabilities, including people with psychiatric disabilities.
- Record of psychiatric disability. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against individuals who have a record of a psychiatric disability or are regarded as having a psychiatric disability. This means, for example, that qualified individuals who have a history of psychiatric disability cannot be discriminated against just because of that history. Also, employers cant take actions because they believe a qualified applicant or employee might have a psychiatric disability.
- Rights under the ADA. Applicants and employees with psychiatric disabilities have two main rights under the ADA. First, they have a right to privacy. Except when asking for an accommodation, they can choose whether to tell the employer about their disability. Second, they have a right to a job accommodation unless this causes undue hardship for the employer.
Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness
Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.
Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.
Read Also: What Is The Phobia Of Long Words Called