Can You Get Social Security Disability for a Mental Illness?

If you suffer from a mental illness and the condition affects your ability to work, you may be entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

Mental disorders and illnesses can be seriously debilitating, and the Social Security Administration recognizes the potential for these conditions to cause long-term disability. However, as these types of claims can be a challenge to win, working with a disability claim advocate may be in your best interests. In the meantime, learning more about how the SSA considers mental disability claims may help.

SSDI for mental illness

Meeting the Criteria for Social Security Disability

 In order to meet the SSA qualifications for a mental disability claim, your condition must be diagnosed by a doctor. In addition, your mental disorder must:

  • Prevent you from performing any work for which you are qualified
  • Render you unable to complete training for another type of work position
  • Be expected to affect your ability to work for at least 12 months

Mental Illnesses that May Qualify for Disability Benefits

The SSA considers mental disability claims for a range of disorders. If you suffer from any of the following mental illnesses, you may be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB):

  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Schizophrenia
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Mental retardation
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder

This list is not complete, as the SSA approves claims for other types of mental illnesses. If your condition makes it impossible to perform gainful work, you may be able to get disability benefits.

Proving Your Mental Illness Causes Functional Limitations

Winning a mental disability claim can be an uphill battle without the support of a psychiatrist or psychologist, and experienced advocates recommend getting a detailed report from your doctor regarding your limitations and how they affect your ability to work.

In addition, to prove your claim, you will need to provide medical records from every provider involved in your care. Any records from past hospitalizations or emergency room visits related to your mental illness can also be beneficial. And, if your disorder requires you to take any prescription medication, you may want to submit pharmacy records.

Subjective evidence can also play a role in your Social Security Disability claim. You can provide the SSA with a detailed account of how your mental illness affects your daily life and your ability to earn an income. Make sure you speak honestly with your health care providers as well, as that way your medical records will reflect the information you provide in your personal account.

No one can guarantee the SSA will approve your claim, but working with an experienced advocate can increase your odds. If you are ready to apply for Social Security Disability, turn to the team of professionals at Mountain West Disability.

Our disability claim advocates have extensive experience helping people get the benefits they need. And, Mountain West Disability will only collect a fee if the Social Security Administration approves your application.

To learn more about our advocate services, or to schedule a consultation to discuss applying for Social Security Disability on the basis of a mental illness, contact our Murray, Utah, office today.