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The Law Offices of Martin Taller
Call to speak to us now: 714-450-6689
Free consultations. Se Habla Español
Call to speak to us now
Free consultations. Se Habla Español

Obtaining Social Security mental disability benefits

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are one of the ways that those who suffer from a disability can help make ends meet, and are an essential part of our nation's safety net. However, for those who suffer from mental health issues that keep them from working, the process of qualifying for SSD benefits is often more complicated and time-consuming than for those with strictly physical disabilities.

If you or someone you love contend with a mental disability, it is definitely worthwhile to pursue SSD benefits, but it is important to understand the major hurdles you'll face along the way.

While each person's experience is different, the two greatest difficulties you may face when applying for SSD benefits for mental disabilities are demonstrating a professional diagnosis of your disability and demonstrating that your disability impacts your ability to work.

Often, it is much easier and less overwhelming to consult with an attorney who has years of experience dealing with the Social Security system, so that you do not miss important procedure requirements or deadlines. With professional guidance, you stand a significantly greater chance of receiving benefit approval.

Proving your mental health diagnosis

Whereas a broken leg is relatively easy to document as a disability, mental health struggles require a more refined approach. Of course, if you've spent any time at all dealing with mental health care providers, you know that the process of identifying, diagnosing and treating mental health issues is often a lengthy experience.

Of course, this does not mean that your mental disability is not real or serious, but rather that it is not something easy to document, like one might document a broken leg with x-rays.

If you suffer from one of the more easily recognizable mental ailments like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety or depression, the SSA has existing metrics for assessing these disabilities. However, you may struggle with some mental ailment that is less common.

In this case, an independent medical care provider can administer you a mental consultive exam to assess your ailment.

Your regular mental health care provider can also help you collect further documentation to use in your SSD benefit application.

Proving your ailment impairs your ability to work

This is where the rubber meets the road with SSD mental health benefits. While a mental health ailment is certainly a very real disability, it is often tricky to prove through documentation that your disability is severe enough to keep you from working.

This is where it is often helpful to have an advocate working with you. To receive SSD benefits for any mental health issue, you must demonstrate to the SSA that you cannot work because of the condition.

The SSA uses both professional medical care records as well as testimony from your family and community to assess your ability to function in the workplace, known as your residual functional capacity.

If you can demonstrate that you suffer from difficulty with memory, concentration, social interactions and adapting to new challenges or situations, you may stand a better chance of obtaining disability benefits.

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The Law Offices Of Martin Taller

2300 E. Katella Ave. Suite 440
Anaheim, CA 92806

Toll Free: 800-304-4404
Phone: 714-450-6689
Fax: 714-385-8123
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Our office is located close to major freeways and is near the Anaheim train station.

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