Unless you have friends and family members with psychiatric conditions, it’s difficult to understand how devastating they can be. A wide variety of diseases and illnesses affect the human mind and body. Sometimes people find themselves unable to work to support themselves. Disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) might help, but you must first qualify.
How to Get SSDI, Generally
You have to prove that you have a medical condition that prevents you from working. Essentially, you have to meet the Social Security Administration’s (Social Security’s) definition of disability:
- You are unable to do the same work you died before your disability began;
- Your disability also prevents you from working at another job; and
- Your condition has lasted for at least a year, is expected to last for at least a year, or will cause your death.
It might sound easy, but it really is not. Rules and regulations are complex, and the majority of first-time applications fail. That’s why it is so important to hire a disability attorney to help from the very start of your claim.
Where Psychiatric Conditions Fit In
As with any other condition, you have to prove:
- That you have the condition, and
- That it is disabling.
Social Security has prepared a Listing of Impairments. As you might expect, it lists conditions that could qualify for benefits and what proof is required. Mental Disorders (Section 12.00) covers many conditions, including:
- Depressive, bipolar, and related disorders that affect moods, cause loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and suicidal ideation.
- Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, where symptoms cause excessive anxiety, worry, fear, avoidance, restlessness, and panic attacks.
- Schizophrenia and psychotic disorders often cause hallucinations, social withdrawal, and paranoia.
- Personality and impulse-control disorders include distrust, social detachment, and impulsivity.
- Neurocognitive disorders may affect memory, decision making, judgment, language, and speech.
- Somatic symptom and related disorders. Some symptoms of these disorders relate to physical conditions like fatigue and gastrointestinal problems.
- Intellectual disorders refer to below-average intellectual functioning.
Proving the condition is a disability is the next step. Social Security tells you how.
How to Get SSDI for Psychiatric Conditions
Many people with mental disorders are able to function due to medication and therapy. For people who can’t, Social Security expects to see:
- Medical evidence of the disorder from acceptable sources.
- Your medical and psychiatric histories.
- Reports of examinations and testing.
- Records showing medications and therapies you have used.
It’s not enough to claim that you have a disorder. People with psychiatric conditions should seek medical help for themselves and, if necessary, they can use their medical records to get the disability benefits they need.
Getting SSDI Benefits for a Psychiatric Condition Is Challenging. We Can Help.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients resolve SSI issues. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.