A physical disability is often quite easy for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to see and understand: the hand has been amputated, the eyes cannot see, the legs are unable to walk. A mental disability, on the other hand, is concealed and unclear. Because the illness may not be visible, a person who suffers from a mental disability might struggle to present the nature of their illness to examiners. However, this doesn’t mean that they should give up. If you’re wondering how to get Social Security disability for mental illness, please scroll down. We’ve got just the tips and tricks you need.
How to Get Social Security Disability for Mental Illness
If you want to learn how to get Social Security disability for mental illness, you’ll first need to look through the SSA’s List of Impairments for your mental illness. Also called the Blue Book, this compilation of disabilities can help you determine the criteria with which the SSA will judge your case. Section 12.00 contains adult mental disorders, including the following:
- 12.02: Organic mental disorders
- 12.03: Schizophrenic, paranoid, and other psychotic disorders
- 12.04: Affective disorders
- 12.05: Intellectual disability
- 12.06: Anxiety-related disorders
- 12.07: Somatoform disorders
- 12.08: Personality disorders
- 12.09: Substance addition disorders
- 12.10: Autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders
Each disorder contains a list of criteria (symptoms, severity, length of time, etc.), so it’s important that you review and meet the requirements before moving forward with your claim. (Note: if your condition is not included in the Blue Book or if you do not meet the criteria for your mental illness, you will have to work a bit harder. You will need to demonstrate that your symptoms are very likely to last 12 months or more and that your mental illness will prevent you from working).
After that, you need to prove (1) that you have a mental illness and (2) that the severity of your mental illness interferes with your ability to work. Your physician will need to work with you to provide evidence, such as medical records, test results, and other pertinent documentation. Your doctor will also be asked to write a report about your mental health and the history, severity, and progress of your illness. If you’ve taken medication for your condition or been hospitalized, you will need to provide documented details for the SSA.
To prove your case, you will also need to fill out personal forms detailing your condition, symptoms, work history, etc. Fill out these forms very thoroughly. Be forthright, and don’t hide information because you’re embarrassed or proud. This could hurt your chances of receiving disability benefits.
If you’re denied disability benefits after your first attempt, don’t give up! Many deserving people aren’t approved the first time around but succeed when they try again. Learning how to get Social Security disability for mental illness is especially difficult, so if you’re denied, accept that the SSA might not have been given enough information to approve your claim. Review your case, provide valuable evidence, describe your condition fully, fill out all the required forms, and try again.
Last, but certainly not least, if you’re wondering how to get Social Security disability for mental illness, we highly recommend that you work with a disability representative. Not only will they be familiar with the system and ready to answer any questions that you have, but they will also monitor your case and stand by you throughout the application and appeals process. Contact BTS Group, Inc. Our kind, experienced representatives would be happy to help you prepare your case. Please give us a call at 1-866-441-4BTS (4287) to schedule your free consultation.