Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Can You Get Disability For Mental Illness

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Applying for Disability Benefits with a Mental Illness

Whether youre handling your application on your own or are filing for a loved one, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC is here to help. We have extensive experience in securing disability benefits for people suffering from mental disorders, and we can advise you of your options and rights. This is a complicated and challenging matter, but our attorneys can take it on, so you dont have to.

Long Term Disability Benefits And Your Mental Health

If you have long term disability group coverage or a personal policy, you may be able to file a claim and qualify for benefits based on your medical records, mental health condition diagnosis, and other proof. To get approved, you may need to prove that you cannot work in your own occupation, at least initially. This centers on being able to complete the tasks required of your own position.

While LTD benefits do cover mental illness, these cases may be much more difficult to navigate and prove and to provide the necessary evidence to support ongoing disability benefits for mental illness.

If you build a strong case and get approved for LTD benefits, you will need to wait for the elimination period described by your policy to pass. You may qualify for short term disability during this time.

How You Provide Information About Your Disability

If you qualify financially, you will need a Disability Determination Package to provide information about your disability. The package contains the following forms:

  • Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index form
  • Self Report form
  • Consent to Release Medical Information form
  • instructions on how to complete these forms.

You will need to get an approved health professional, such as a doctor, to fill out the Health Status Report and Activities of Daily Living Index. This information will tell staff in the Disability Adjudication Unit about your disability and your ability to work, look after yourself or get out in the community.

The Self-Report Form is optional. You don’t have to complete this form, but it will help us understand your situation.

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Symptoms Of Depression And Bipolar Disorder

Clinical depression is a mood disorder marked by persistent feelings of sadness, isolation, and agitation that interfere with one’s daily life. Depression may also be manifested in physical symptoms that include fatigue, sleeplessness, and changes in appetite. Those with severe depression may experience crying spells, hallucinations, delusions, and suicidal thoughts or actions. The causes of depression are not exactly known, but are thought to include chronic pain, stress, substance abuse, and genetic factors. Treatment usually consists of talk therapy and/or medication.

Individuals with bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, experience feelings of depression alternating with episodes of mania. During a less severe “hypomanic” episode, individuals may be highly energetic and productive, while more severe “hypermanic” periods might feature racing thoughts, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, impulsive decision-making, or irritability.

Those with acute forms of bipolar disorder may experience psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations. Depression and manic episodes can cycle back and forth rapidly, over a period of a few hours, or slowly, over weeks or even months. People who experience mania and depression at the same time are said to be in a “mixed state.” Treatment for bipolar disorder often consists of a combination of counseling and mood-stabilizing or antidepressant medications.

Is Mental Illness A Disability

What mental illness can you get disability for ?

Mental illnesses are diseases of the brain that wreak havoc on people’s lives . People sometimes wonder if mental illness is a disability. The answer to that question lies in the definition of mental illness. To be classified as one of the nearly 300 mental illnesses in theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition , the text that serves as the accepted source of information about mental illnesses, the disorder must cause distress, dysfunction, and disability in one or more areas of life functioning. Is mental illness a disability? When the symptoms are severe enough to seriously limit life activities, yes, mental illness is a disability.

When the symptoms of a mental illness become severe and the illness classified as a serious mental illness, functioning becomes impaired. When this happens, employment often becomes a thing of the past and a distant dream. Given that avoiding homelessness is impossible without a source of income, the government offers disability for mental illness . The tricky part is figuring out how to get disability benefits for mental illness.

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Understanding The Role Your Medical Evidence Plays In Getting Disability Benefits

Your medical records and other evidence play a central role in getting approval with any type of qualifying impairment. The disability examiner who oversees your case will need to look at your doctors notes, test results, treatment plan, treatment results, and other information about your condition. This allows them to judge the severity of your condition and see that it prevents you from working and keeping a job.

Since your medical evidence is the only way the Social Security Administration can determine if you meet the qualifications for disability benefits, it is important to ensure they have access to your records at every doctor, clinic, and hospital that treated you.

When you apply for disability, you will have to give the SSA a list of contact information, so they can request your records. This includes:

  • Doctor or hospital name
  • E-mail
  • Patient ID, when possible

If you have Berger and Green working your case, we can help you gather this information and ensure it is correct on your application. Without this contact information, the disability examiner will not have access to your diagnosis, any test results, treatment plan and outcome, and information about your medication.

For a free legal consultation, call

Disability Benefits For Mental Illness

Generally, governments establish assistance programs for people who live with a disability, either physical or mental, that renders them unable to work. In the U.S., the federal government operates over 40 programs that serve people of all ages with mental illness. States have their own disability programs, too, such as state Medicaid. Such programs vary from state to state.

The federal government operates two main disability programs for with people with mental illness if they qualify. These large benefits programs are the Supplementary Security Income program and Social Security Disability Insurance .

SSI, sometimes simply called Social Security, exists in order to help people with little or no income, including many people living with mental illness. The financial benefits provided are for basic needs like housing, food, and clothing. A serious mental illness alone doesn’t qualify someone for SSI, even if they can’t work. To receive SSI disability benefits for mental illness, one must live below the poverty line and have minimal access to financial resources.

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Disability Insurance And Pre

As with life insurance, when you apply for disability insurance, you must disclose any physical or mental health conditions you have. If you fail to do so, the insurer may cancel your policy, and that could happen when you need it most.

Having a pre-existing condition could result in several outcomes when you apply for disability insurance, depending on the severity of the condition and the insurerâs own underwriting guidelines:

  • Your application is rejected.

  • Your application is accepted, but the pre-existing condition may be excluded from coverage.

  • Your application is accepted, and your pre-existing condition has limited coverage.

  • Your application is accepted with no limitations or exclusions for the pre-existing condition.

In order to get disability insurance coverage for a pre-existing condition, you may need to show that youâve been seeing a physician or health care professional whoâs treating it.

Unfortunately, having certain pre-existing conditions can cause you to be placed in a less favorable insurance classification . That means youâll pay higher premiums than someone in a more favorable risk class.

Does Everyone Have To Go Through The Disability Determination Process

Mental health and disability!

Some people only have to qualify financially to receive Income Support.

You do not need to go through the Disability Determination Process if you:

  • receive federal Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits
  • receive Quebec Pension Plan Disability benefits
  • are 65 or older but do not qualify for Old Age Security
  • live in certain types of institutions, such as a mental health facility or a home for people with developmental disabilities.

Your worker will tell you whether you need to go through the Disability Determination Process when you apply for Income Support.

Learn More

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Qualifying For Ssd With A Mental Disorder

Often, demonstrating your disorder and its severity are the hardest steps toward qualifying for Social Security Disability. If you face a listed disability, you do not automatically qualify for disability benefits. You must first have your doctor or psychiatrist file paperwork that demonstrates how severe your condition is.

The SSA considers a disorder severe enough to qualify for disability if it affects your daily life so much that you cannot perform work activities. This does not require that your disorder should require institutionalization or round-the-clock care. Instead, like physical disabilities, mental disabilities can be severe enough to prevent you from working without requiring constant hospitalization or supervision.

If you are able to work to some degree, your SSD payments may be reduced or denied. If you are denied SSD, it is vital to talk to an attorney about your denial. Having an attorney help with your filing from the beginning can help ensure that you use the proper language to demonstrate your disorder to the Social Security Administration. If you are denied, our attorneys may be able to fight your denial and help you through the process of receiving disability benefits.

How Are Mental And Emotional Conditions Determined As Disabling By Ssa Reviewers

To evaluate a mental disability or an emotional disability, SSA reviewers refer to the Blue Book to determine if a claimants symptoms match the criteria of a specific mental illness listed this book. The SSAs Blue Book is their official listing of all medical conditions and impairments that could be prevent someone from working. Mental and emotional conditions listed in the Blue Book include:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Intellectual disorders
  • Major depression

If chronic anxiety disorders or a mental disability is not as severe as Blue Book listings require, an applicant may still qualify for a medical-vocational allowance if the mental health issue prevents them from working. SSA reviewers will then determine if the applicants mental residual functional capacity indicates they suffer from functional, social or intellectual limitations that make it impossible for them to work full-time.

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About The Numbers: Mental Illness In The Workplace

  • Examples of psychiatric diagnoses include anxiety disorder, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder , bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
  • Overall, about 44 million adults in the U.S. report having had any mental health condition during the past year, representing about 18.5% of the U.S. population.
  • Among these U.S. adults, the National Institute of Mental Health estimates that:
  • 18% have an anxiety disorder
  • 9.5% have depression
  • 4% have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • 2.6% have bipolar disorder
  • 1% have schizophrenia
  • About 18% of workers in the U.S. report having a mental health condition in any given month. This means that psychiatric disability is one of the most common types of disability covered under the ADA.
  • Checklist: Is My Mental Health Problem A Disability

    Get Help

    You can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a mental or physical health impairment?
  • Is it long-term ?
  • Does it have a more than minor adverse effect on my day-to-day living, if I discount my treatment or medication?
  • If you answered yes to all three questions, then your mental health problem could get the protection of the Equality Act.

    If you want to get the protection of the Equality Act, you may find it helpful to get some evidence from your GP, or another medical professional. You can ask them to write a letter saying whether they think you have a disability under the Equality Act. It would be particularly useful if they can give their opinion on the answer to each of these three questions.


    Esra doesnt consider herself disabled because she doesnt receive disability benefits and she is physically healthy.

    Esra has been living with an anxiety disorder for the past 3 years. Because of this, it takes her a longer time to do things like get up in the morning, dress herself for the day and do the shopping. She takes medication to control the symptoms.

    Esra would be protected by the Equality Act because she has:

    • a mental impairment an anxiety disorder
    • it is long term she has had it for the past 3 years
    • it has a substantial effect on her daily life her mental health has a major effect on her daily life when you ignore the effect of her medication
    • it has an adverse effect her mental health problem makes things more difficult for her.

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    Mental Illness And Income Support

    An ongoing difficulty with determining impairment for those with mental disorders is that mental disorders are heterogeneous. Some individuals may meet diagnostic criteria for a severe disorder without having significant impairments in functioning , and other individuals with mild diagnoses suffer functional limitations that impede their ability to work. Impairments can be temporary or persistent, and can improve and recur. Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families were not designed with this heterogeneity in mind. In addition, because no simple test can fully assess illness, impairment, and disability, the nature of mental disorders complicates eligibility determination.

    Income support programs protect people against health and injury risks that threaten the ability to work and earn a living. To reduce moral hazard, these programs have stringent eligibility requirements, time-limited benefits, and relatively low benefit levels. To qualify for benefits, individuals must show that they are unable to undertake substantial gainful activity. However, recent changes in program rules that are intended to encourage work ignore characteristics of mentally ill participants. As a result, some who are mentally disabled, but only partially able to work, may lose benefits and find themselves with inadequate earnings if they do work.

    The Independent Medical Exam

    IMEs are summoned by the insurance company, and it’s imperative to keep in mind that IME doctors are well-versed in long-term disability claims. They also tend to lean in favor of the insurance company. Even though you may think an IME will be the demise of your case, here are some things you can do to be proactive in getting the best possible outcome:

    • Bring a friend or family member to your appointment and have them take detailed notes about your exam. For example, how much time the doctor spent with you and the questions you were asked.
    • Ask for a copy of the IME report. Review the report for any discrepancies. If there is questionable information, it’s in your best interest to consult an attorney who specializes in long-term disability claims.

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    Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness

    Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.

    Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.

    If You Live In Quebec

    Can you get Disability for bipolar disorder, depression?

    If you live in Quebec, you would not apply for the disability benefit under the Canada Pension Plan. You can apply for the Quebec Pension Plan disability benefit if one of the following applies to you:

    • you have worked only in the province of Quebec
    • you currently live in Quebec and have worked both in the province of Quebec and in another province or territory
    • you have worked in Quebec, currently live outside Canada and your last province of residence was Quebec

    If you worked both in and outside Quebec

    If you paid into both the Canada Pension Plan and Quebec Pension Plan, you need to apply to the province where you live now.

    If you worked outside Canada

    If you worked in a country other than Canada, the credits you earned in that country may help you qualify for the disability benefit.

    If you worked less to care for young children

    If you have periods of zero or low income because you stayed home to raise your children, the child-rearing provision could help you qualify for the disability benefit.

    If you are divorced or separated

    Any contributions you and your spouse or common-law partner made to the CPP while you lived together may be equally divided after a divorce or a separation. This may help you qualify for the disability benefit. Find out more about .

    If you missed applying for disability benefits in the past

    If you are applying for the disability benefit, but stopped working a while ago, you may still apply for a benefit now.

    You may be able to receive the benefit if:

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    Can You Get Disability For Mental Illness

    • how often you went to the doctor. you need to be getting frequent treatment for them to take you seriously. consistency is important.
    • any hospitalizations you have related to your condition.
    • what kind of medications you’ve taken. if you haven’t tried basically everything then they are going to assume that you can still get better.
    Everyone is black at this point
    Everyone is black at this point

    Yes, but prepare to file multiple times unless your lucky.They make it intentionally hard to get for any disability except for like one or two conditions.

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