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Answers to FAQ About Mental Illness & Social Security Disability

Just as Social Security Disability aims to provide financial resources for those with physical ailments, it also protects those with mental health issues. But given the differences between mental and physical conditions, many people end up having a lot of questions regarding Social Security’s policies on this subject. To help provide some clarity, below are answers to commonly asked questions about mental illness and Social Security Disability.

Answers to Common Questions About Mental Illness & SSDI

Does Social Security view a mental health issue the same as a physical one?

In general, yes. So long as the condition is disabling, expected to last at least a year, and prevents you from working in any capacity, Social Security will review a mental health claim with the same attention it utilizes in physical health claims. Having a mental illness does not in any way automatically disqualify you from Social Security Disability.

What are some mental illnesses that can be considered disabling by Social Security?

There are several mental and emotional conditions that can qualify one for SSDI. Among the most common are mood disorders like clinical depression and bipolar illness, anxiety disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma issues like PTSD, and neurological impairments like dementia. One notable exception is alcohol or drug addiction, which is not considered a qualifying mental illness when it comes to SSDI.

What criteria does Social Security use when determining if a mental illness is disabling?

The exact criteria differ from one mental health issue to the next. But if you don’t meet the standards as defined by Social Security, that doesn’t mean your claim will be denied outright. Instead, they will review your symptoms to see what your “mental residual functional capacity” is. In other words, how your mental symptoms impact your life and ability to work.

I have a disabling mental illness. How can I present a strong case to Social Security?

See a psychiatrist and therapist regularly. Decisions on mental health claims are largely made based on an applicant’s medical records, so it is in your best interests to discuss your condition and its effects, at length, with all health care providers. Plus, regular psychiatric and therapeutic appointments demonstrate your commitment to your health and healing, and Social Security looks favorably on applicants who are proactive in the matter of their own prescription.

A mental health condition can be just as serious and life-limiting as a physical one. Have all the support you need, and let the Social Security Disability attorneys at Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC, advocate for you. For nearly 20 years, they have been representing La Crosse County, Wisconsin, in all types of injury and accident cases, including Social Security and workers’ compensation claims. Call (877) 784-1230 today to set up a free consultation.