Friday, April 12, 2024

Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability

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What If I Had A Disability In The Past

My Life Living with Bipolar Disorder

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.

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Sociodemographic And Clinical Differences

Already at baseline, the patients who were granted a disability pension during the follow-up differed in many respects from the non-pensioned patients . They were older, more often had BD-I, suffered from the disease for a longer period of time, had more depressive and manic episodes, and more often had alcohol use disorders. Whereas all the patients were in the acute phase at intake, those with later disability pension had lower levels of overall social and occupational functioning , were subjectively but not quite objectively more depressed, perceived themselves as having less social support , perceived their economic situation as worse, were more often on sick leave, and perceived themselves as unable to work considerably more often than their non-pensioned counterparts. No differences emerged in the proportion of pensioned and non-pensioned patients with anxiety disorders overall. However, as regards specific anxiety disorders, the pensioned patients more often had generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder . The prevalence of patients with a personality disorder overall did not differ between these two groups, but as regards specific personality disorders, the pensioned patients more often had avoidant personality disorder .

Table 1 Univariate analyses of predictors of work disability pension among employed patients with bipolar disorder in Jorvi Bipolar Study during 6-year follow-up

How Do You Qualify For Disability Benefits Based On The Bipolar Listing

To qualify under the SSA’s official listing for bipolar disorder, you must have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and your medical records must show that you have at least three of the following symptoms:

  • unnaturally fast, frenzied speech
  • quickly changing ideas and thought patterns
  • inflated self-esteem
  • distractibility
  • involvement in risky activities with painful consequences that you don’t recognize, and/or
  • increase in physical agitation or in “goal-directed activity” .

You must also meet Social Security’s “functional” criteria to show that you have a loss of abilities due to these symptoms. Just having a diagnosis isn’t enough for the SSA to find you disabledyou’ll need to show that your bipolar disorder causes an “extreme” limitation in one, or a “marked” limitation in two, of the following areas:

  • understanding, remembering, or using information
  • interacting with others
  • concentrating and maintaining pace in performing tasks , and/or
  • adapting or managing oneself .

Proving these limitations can be tricky because terms like “marked” and “extreme” are subjective and not well defined. To help the SSA understand how you meet these criteria, it’s a good idea to ask your treating psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor, or therapist for a medical source statement. Having multiple providers who can provide evidence that your limitations are medically disabling strengthens your claim.

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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

Is There A Social Security Listing For Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

Yes. The most common way someone can be awarded Social Security Disability benefits for bipolar disorder is to show that they meet the listing for bipolar depression. A Social Security Listing is a specific set of medically documented findings, symptoms, and objective evidence. If someone has the medical evidence to prove that they meet the listing, it will not be necessary to prove anything else. That is, they will not need to prove that they cannot do their past relevant work or that they cannot do any other work in the regional or national economy, as is the case with most other claims.

The Social Security Listing for bipolar disorder can be found at 12.04. This listing requires that the person applying for disability have medically documented evidence of at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Pressured speech
  • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized
  • Increase and goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation

If these symptoms can be medically documented, you will then need to show that you have an extreme limitation of one, or market limitation of two of the following areas of mental functioning:

  • Understand, remember, or apply information
  • Interact with others
  • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace
  • Adapter manage oneself

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If I Do Not Meet The Listing Is There Another Way To Get Social Security Disability Benefits

Yes! If you do not meet Listing 12.04 and bipolar disorder is preventing you from working, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration will proceed with your case by evaluating your Residual Functional Capacity. To do this, the Administration will determine the most amount of work that you can do despite your limitations. The only way Social Security will understand how debilitating your symptoms can be, is if you are regularly seeing your psychologist and/or psychiatrist and talking with them about how you feel. Your doctors must document severity of your symptoms in their records whenever you visit.

Is Bipolar A Disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law that helps people with disabilities get equal rights at work. Bipolar disorder is considered a disability under the ADA, just like blindness or multiple sclerosis.

You may also qualify for Social Security benefits if you cant work. The Social Security Administration has two programs that provide a monthly income and health insurance to people who cant work because of a disability:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance is for people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes.
  • Supplemental Security Income is for people with a limited income.

Read on to learn how the ADA and Social Security might benefit you.

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Prevalence Of Bipolar Disorder Among Adolescents

  • Based on diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Adolescent Supplement , Figure 3 shows lifetime prevalence of bipolar disorder among U.S. adolescents aged 13-18.4
  • An estimated 2.9% of adolescents had bipolar disorder, and 2.6% had severe impairment. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition criteria were used to determine impairment.
  • The prevalence of bipolar disorder among adolescents was higher for females than for males .

Figure 3

Lifetime Prevalence of Bipolar Disorder Among Adolescents


Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability Heres What You Need To Know

Bipolar disorder (depression & mania) – causes, symptoms, treatment & pathology

If youre wondering whether bipolar disorder is a disability that qualifies you for Supplemental Security Income , you may be having trouble working and earning money because of your condition. This doesnt mean that you are disabled or even that bipolar disorder is classified as a disability. In this context, the term “disability” simply means that you have the right to be protected in the field of work because of your condition.

Bipolar disorder is one of the many conditions covered by the ADA. However, this does not mean you are automatically entitled to benefits. This law is designed to protect people with bipolar disorder and other qualifying disabilities from discrimination in hiring, promotions, work, pay and benefits. Under the ADA, bipolar disorder is a protected disability, which might mean that your employer has to make special allowances for you at work, such as letting you take regular breaks or permitting you to work from home. Your employer also has a right to deny these accommodations if they would cause the company undue hardship.

Many people manage to work with bipolar disorder, but it does depend on the intensity and frequency of their symptoms. If you feel you are unable to work because of your condition, you may be entitled to social security benefits.

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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.

How Does The Ssa Assess Bipolar Disorder

As with all medical conditions, the Social Securitys list of impairments plays a role. SSA workers will assess a bipolar person under 12.00 Mental Disorders. Section 12.04 covers depressive, bipolar, and related disorders.

Generally, someone claiming disability based on bipolar disorder must have three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pressured speech,
  • Distractibility,
  • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized, or
  • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation.
  • Extreme limitation or marked limitation of certain areas of mental functioning
  • You have a medically documented history of the disorder over at least two years with evidence of specific problems.

Medical history and physicians reports are essential parts of proving this disorder is disabling.

In Macks case, he finally saw a doctor and was thoroughly assessed. At some point, he may recover and be able to support himself. In the meantime, he may qualify for disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income to help smooth the way.

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Types Of Bipolar Disorders

There are several categories of bipolar disorders. The two major types are:

  • Bipolar I disorder: Characterized by one or more episodes of mania, preceded or followed by an episode of depression.
  • Bipolar II disorder: Characterized by one or more depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic episode, but no manic episodes.

While bipolar II disorder does not have manic episodes, it is not simply a milder form of bipolar I, but a separate diagnosis. Depressive episodes in bipolar II disorder may last longer, and it may be misdiagnosed as major depression if episodes of hypomania are unrecognized or overlooked. Bipolar I disorder must have at least one episode of mania to be diagnosed as Bipolar I.

Bipolar disorder can also manifest as mixed features of manic and depressive episodes when symptoms from both occur at the same time. Other types of occurrences of bipolar disorder may be related to hormone changes during pregnancy, other medical conditions, or drug use.

Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

Bipolar Disorder: Overview and More

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Depression is a common complaint made by individuals trying to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. Depression can cause symptoms of poor concentration, low energy, problems sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. If you have bipolar disorder , you may have depression mixed with periods of manic behavior with rapid speech.

To receive disability benefits, you will need to show proof of more than just a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder. You will need to present evidence that your depression or bipolar disorder is so severe that you are unable to work or function well. According to Social Security statistics, about two-thirds of applicants who apply for disability on the basis of major clinical depression or bipolar disorder end up getting approved .

Following is a list of important issues the Social Security Administration will consider when evaluating your claim, and tips for how you can increase your chances of obtaining benefits.

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The Importance Of Getting Treatment For Depression

The SSA will review your medical records to determine if you have been prescribed any medication for your depression or bipolar disorder and whether this medication effectively controls your symptoms. If you have never been given medication, the SSA might consider your condition to be mild and not disabling.

In addition, if your doctor has recommended therapy or medication for your condition and you chose not to follow the doctor’s advice, the SSA might find you in “noncompliance.” You can be denied disability benefits for not complying with your doctor’s treatment recommendations. However, a good reason for not following a doctor’s recommendation is if you are financially unable to pay for therapy sessions. For more information, see Nolo’s article on being denied benefits for failing to follow treatment.

How To Apply For Social Security Disability With Bipolar Disorder

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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.

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Filing For Social Security Disability With A Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

If an individuals Bipolar Disorder is constant and impairs all ability to function in a work environment, that person may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Any individual with Bipolar Disorder can be eligible for disability benefits if he/she meets the evaluation criteria listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book, and if he/she has received a medical vocational disability endorsement based on the person’s residual functional ability, education and age.

What Are My Chances For Eligibility

What Is Bipolar Disorder?

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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What Are My Rights Under The Ada/social Security

The ADA prevents people who are disabled from being discriminated against at work. Your company cant cancel a job offer or fire you because you have bipolar disorder.

You must be able to do the basic tasks your job requires, but you can ask for accommodations. Accommodations are changes to your schedule or responsibilities that make your job easier to do.

Examples of accommodations for people with bipolar disorder are:

  • a flexible schedule
  • extra breaks during the day
  • a desk organizer or planner
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • a support animal

Under the ADA, you also have a right to privacy. You dont have to tell your employer that you have bipolar disorder unless you want to share that information.

You can get Social Security disability benefits if your bipolar disorder is severe enough to prevent you from working or if it limits your ability to do your job.

Whether you can work depends on how severe your bipolar disorder is, and how much your symptoms affect your daily life.

Symptoms like mood swings, irritability, and trouble concentrating can make it harder to do many jobs.

In general, people with bipolar disorder have a harder time working than those who dont. Between never go back to work full time after their symptoms start.

It may be harder for you to work if you have:

  • severe bipolar disorder
  • frequent episodes of mania and/or depression
  • constant low-level depression
  • psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions

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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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.

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