Did you know that if you?ve been diagnosed with a mental illness, and that if your condition is impairing your ability to work, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits? Mental health is a serious matter. Even though it?s often hard to see its effects, the impact of mental disorders can make it hard to even accomplish the tiniest things in life. Combine it with the demands of working, and the burden may be too much to handle for an individual.
Mental Health Disorders Evaluated by the SSA
The following mental disorders are discussed at length in the Social Security Administration Mental Disorders criteria under the listing of impairments:
* Bipolar Disorder
* Cognitive Impairments Due to Brain Damage
* Intellectual Disability
* Substance Addiction
* Developmental Disorders
How Does SSA Determine Eligibility for Benefits?
The Social Security Administration is very strict in what it will and will not take as evidence in your disability case. In some cases, many patients feel like the administration is highly biased against mental health disability cases even when they do provide adequate documentation. You will need:
1. Your disability application.
2. The Activities of Daily Living/ADL form.
3. Medical records from at least twelve months before your application date (including physician?s notes, psych evaluations, and neurological test results).
4. The SSA may also interview your friends, family, co-workers, and other persons that are close to you to help them decide your case.
The evidence presented helps the SSA determine the severity of your condition which, ultimately, drives the decision to approve or deny your benefits. Severity is gauged by several factors:
1. How much impact does your mental health disability have on your ability to complete daily activities (like cleaning, paying bills, grooming, etc.)?
2. Can you function well in society? If not, how unsociable are you and does it affect your ability to cooperate and work with others?
3. Does your mental disability keep you from being able to concentrate at work? Is your lack of persistence and pace keeping you from being able to function?
4. Are there times when your mental disability symptoms increase and require more treatment? Do these ?episodes of decompensation? greatly impact your ability to concentrate, socialize, complete your daily activities, and/or regularly attend work?
It?s important to remember that the SSA does not award benefits to individuals solely based on the diagnosis of their condition. They grant benefits to individuals on the basis of their ability (or inability) to work and generate income. In other words, the burden of proving the severity of your condition falls on you, the claimant.
What Happens if Your Mental Health Disability Benefits Get Denied?
Proving your mental health disability case is difficult on your own. If you?ve been denied benefits for your mental health disability claim, contact the Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur to get the help you need today.
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