If you or someone you love has a mental disability, you might be able to get them Social Security Disability benefits but may be wondering if they qualify or how to apply for disability benefits with a mental disorder.
People of all ages, who are unable to work due to any disability, are entitled to disability benefits from the Social Security Administration.
While qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with a mental disability can be challenging, it’s not impossible. Out of all the people who do receive Social Security Disability benefits, a whopping 19% have mental disabilities.
So it goes without saying – there is certainly a chance that you’ll receive your disability benefits. However, it is also important to consider that the application process while applying for disability benefits has become increasingly confusing. Having a disability attorney compile your case can significantly increase the chances of you receiving your disability benefits.
Mental Disabilities and the SSA
The“Blue Book” or SSA’s listing of impairments is what the SSA always refers to when they want to evaluate a case. Section 12 of the blue book lists all mental disorders that qualify for disability benefits. It has thorough details on which type of mental disabilities can get you qualified for disability benefits.
It is also worth noting that simply providing medical records that claim you have the disease is not enough. You also have to demonstrate the symptoms that prove you have the disease you are claiming you have. There are several different kinds of mental disorders that are listed in the blue book. Those include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Intellectual Disorder
- Organic mental disabilities
- Personality disorders
- Psychotic disorders, schizophrenia and paranoia
- Somatoform disabilities
- Affective disabilities
- Autism and disabilities related to it
Each kind of disability is evaluated on defined criteria. It doesn’t matter which kind of mental disability you’re dealing with – you’re going to have to show that you’re receiving treatment and that you’re cooperating.
The specific requirements for every mental disorder differ. But in general, your disability must show that your ability to function is being affected – even though you’re taking the appropriate medication and following through with treatment. To qualify for benefits, you must either demonstrate that you:
- Have been receiving treatment for the past two years without improvement, and that you’re unable to function in any environment, or
- Have sufficient medical evidence that proves that your condition is currently so severe that it does not allow you to work in any environment whatsoever.
If you want to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits with an anxiety disability, you must demonstrate at least one of the following:
- Constant illogical fear
- Unpredictable and consistent panic attacks every week
- Consistent compulsions and obsessions that cause you a lot of distress
- Consistent anxiety related symptoms
In addition, you must also show that these symptoms are significantly impacting your ability to function. Because these symptoms are causing changes to your behavior, you can claim that you are unable to earn a living for your family. This can help you qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
Autism and Related Disabilities
If you want to qualify for disability benefits by claiming that you have autism or a related disability, you’re going to have to demonstrate that:
- You have problems communicating
- Your condition limits your ability to participate in social activities
You must also be able to demonstrate that your disability has severely impacted your ability to earn a living for yourself and/or your family.
You can qualify for benefits through an intellectual disorder claim if you can prove that:
- You depend on other people for personal needs such as eating, getting dressed, bathing and using the toilet
- You have an IQ of less than 70 that limits your ability to function in a working environment.
Organic Mental Disorders
To qualify for disability benefits with an organic mental order / disability, the evidence you provide must show that your condition has continued for two years. It should also show that you have tried to get treatment, but the condition has prevailed.
Your mental disability should prevent you from performing basic motor functions too. Ideally, it would be best if you showed that you can not function unless you’re in a highly supportive environment. You can qualify for disability benefits if you have at least one of the following conditions:
- Disorientation of time and place
- Impaired short term and long term memory
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Rapid changes in your mood
- Loss of IQ by 15 or more points
- Inability to communicate in social situations
It is vital that you follow the advice of your doctor and psychologist while you’re applying for Social Security Disability benefits. Refusing to follow the doctor’s orders can give the Social Security Administration an opportunity to deny you your benefits.
Remember, the Social Security Administration will assess your case thoroughly. Having a quality disability attorney to compile your case can increase your chances greatly. As many as 3 out of 4 people who file their cases themselves are rejected disability benefits. That is why hiring a quality attorney like Kahn & Associates is crucial.
It is understandable that when an individual is out of work, their ability to pay for an attorney is impacted. That is why Kahn and Associates takes most cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not require any payment unless we are successful in securing benefits for you.
To learn more about your rights under the Social Security Disability laws call our FREE Disability Hotline at 1-866-4-MY-SSDI (469-7734) to speak with one of our friendly disability rights advocates who, once they obtain all the required information, will evaluate your claim in 60 seconds or less. Alternatively, you can fill out our FREE Disability Case Assessment form and one of our representatives will contact you immediately.