What Are Recurring Episodes Of Decompensation
Another important element related to bipolar disorders is the presence of episodes of decompensation. The SSA defines episodes of decompensation as exacerbations or temporary increases in symptoms or signs accompanied by a loss of adaptive functioning, as manifested by difficulties in performing activities of daily living, maintaining social relationships, or maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace.
Episodes of decompensation is one of the elements included in the impairment listings in the SSA Blue Book. Establishing the fact that you have periods where your ability to function is severely impaired can help you in your claim to prove your inability to work and your inability to engage in normal activities.
To qualify for SSDI on this basis, a claimants evidence usually must show that decompensation episodes occur:
- At least 3 times within a year, or
- An average of once every 4 months, and
- Last at least 2 weeks each time.
You might be able to show evidence of decompensation episodes that happen more often but endure for shorter periods of time, or vice versa.
Is Bipolar A Serious Mental Illness
Health experts class bipolar disorder as a serious mental illness, along with schizophrenia and major depressive disorder. They have this classification because all three conditions can significantly impair a persons quality of life. People also present with symptoms relatively early, so their mental illnesses can interrupt their lives for many years.
Almost 90% of people with bipolar say medications help them manage their condition. However, establishing the issue can be challenging, with just 25% of people receiving an accurate diagnosis in less than three years. People with bipolar often spend up to 10 years waiting for the correct diagnosis.
When its left untreated, bipolar can cause severe problems. People with bipolar usually live 9.2 years less than people without the condition. As many as 20% of people with bipolar commit suicide. They are also more likely to behave impulsively and engage in risky behaviors, including substance abuse and unsafe sexual practices. People with bipolar also struggle to maintain positive relationships with friends and family members.
Social Security Disability And Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness that is characterized by extreme changes in mood periods of depression and periods of being extremely happy or being irritable. People diagnosed with bipolar disorder often experience both mania and depression. Common symptoms during the manic phase include: poor concentration, poor judgment, poor temper control, little need for sleep, and reckless behavior. Common symptoms during the depressive episode include: sadness, difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions, eating problems, fatigue or lack of energy, loss of pleasure, feeling worthless, thoughts of death or suicide. If you are unable to work as a result of your Bipolar Disorder, or any other condition, Social Security Disability can provide essential benefits. At Disability Advocates Group, we have successfully assisted many clients suffering from Bipolar Disorder to get the Social Security Disability benefits they need and deserve.
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What Are The Disabling Symptoms Of Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a disabling condition caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain resulting in severe mood swings. It is characterized by periods of manic activity punctuated by exceptionally bad periods of depression. Both the highs and lows of bipolar disorder are intense and can interfere with all aspects of your daily life.
You can absolutely qualify for long term disability benefits due to bipolar disorder. However, you will need to provide strong evidence to your insurance company of your disabling symptoms to get your claim approved.
Can Someone With Bipolar Disorder Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
Yes, depending on the severity and other factors, Social Security disability benefits may be awarded to someone who is disabled due to Bipolar Disorder.
Known more commonly in the past as Manic Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder is a psychiatric illness characterized by periods of extreme euphoria followed by bouts of severe depression. Bipolar Disorder is considered a category of several mood disorders that affects 5.7 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The Disorder normally manifests itself between childhood and late adolescence.
Signs of the depressive phase of this mental illness include persistent feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, isolation, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, chronic pain, morbid suicidal ideation, self-loathing and depersonalization. In severe cases individuals can become psychotic.
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Disability Benefits From State Government
From January 2021, the Department of Paid Family Medical leave offers a cash benefit to Massachusetts employees who need to take paid leave for medical or family reasons. Find out more at Paid Family and Medical Leave .
Some employers offer short- or long-term disability insurance as a benefit to their employees. You should check with your human resources department to find out whether your employer offers this benefit and if you have previously enrolled in it. If you have private disability insurance through your employer, or that youve bought individually, typically it will require you to apply for any public benefits available. In conversations about disability insurance, if people are referring to disability, they often mean PFML.
The Department of Transitional Assistance provides cash benefits to people with very low income and assets. If you are unable to work for at least 60 days due to a disabling condition, you may be eligible for one of their programs.
Medical Records From Your Doctor
When determining whether your bipolar disorder is disabling, your insurance company will likely also want the opinions of your treating doctor. Your doctors support is key. Your doctors reports should focus on:
- The frequency and severity of your symptoms
- Any positive mental status exam findings
- Their direct observations of you during office visits and
The specific restrictions and limitations that prevent you from working.
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Impairments That Qualify For Bipolar Disorder Disability Benefits
The Social Security Administration has established that a claimant with Bipolar Disorder must have a history of consistent symptomatic manic episodes, depressive syndromes, or a combination of both. Additionally, the claimants bipolar disorder should result in two of the following restrictions:
- severe limitation of daily activity,
- inability to interact with others in a normal way, or
- recurring episodes of decompensation, which last for an extended period of time.
If a claimant does not meet the aforementioned criteria, he/she may still qualify under a section in the Blue Book, which states that any individual with a medical history documenting at least two years of any chronic affective disorder, including Bipolar Disorder, can be granted disability benefits, despite the support of medication, if the impairment or ailment has resulted in:
- limitations of the capacity to perform basic work action, even when symptoms are controlled with psychosocial support and medication.
- the claimants condition must lead to persistent decompensation periods, or
- the residual illness process has caused a subsidiary adjustment that even a nominal boost in mental demands would cause the claimant to decompensate.
Because applying for disability benefits with a Bipolar Disorder diagnosis can be a complex and intimidating process, hiring a qualified Social Security Disability lawyer or disability advocate may be in a potential claimants best interest.
What Is Bipolar Disorder Disability
Also called manic depression, this condition is a brain disorder that can cause excessive mood swings, where a person cycles between depressive states and high states . These cycles can occur over long periods or may occur at the same time.
During mania, the person may experience euphoria, rage, sleeplessness, and rushed thoughts and speech. In severe manic episodes, the patient may become delusional or suffer hallucinations. In the depressive state, the person suffers extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, too much or too little sleep, as well as suicidal thoughts and ideations. These unusual shifts in energy levels lead to an overall inability to function normally.
Many factors that are cited as causes of bipolar disorder disability include:
- Imbalance in brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters
- Hormonal imbalance
- Traumatic experiences or extreme stress
Bipolar disorder and depression can also accompany an illness or injury as a secondary condition.
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Qualifying Through The Listing Of Impairments
SSA maintains a comprehensive Listing of Impairments. More commonly known as the Blue Book, this listing includes a large number of disorders and disabilities that SSA recognizes. If a disability is already a part of this listing, it is easier to seek benefits for it. The only thing left is to see if you meet the specific criterion mentioned under the specific listing.
Bipolar disorder is included in the Section 12 of the Blue Book. This is the section that generally deals with mental disorders. SSA has three paragraphs of requirements under this listing. These are titled paragraphs A, B, and C.
The paragraph A details the general requirements of the medical evidence that must be available to substantiate your claim of suffering from bipolar disorder.
The paragraph B deals with various functional limitations that are imposed by your condition.
The paragraph C is about how serious, long-term and persistent your disorder or illness it.
Now, SSA requires that you must meet one of the following two criterions in order for your disorder to be recognized as a disability:
- You condition must meet the requirements of paragraphs A and B
- Your condition must meet the requirements of paragraphs A and C
If either of these criterions is met, your disorder essentially meets the specifications listed by the SSA. In such a case, your chances of receiving disability benefits are quite good.
Medical Qualifying With A Mental Illness
The SSA conducts a detailed review of your medical records to determine your eligibility for benefits. During this review, they try to match your records to a disability listing in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSAs medical guide that is used to evaluate every disability application.
Disability listings outline the severity level requirements and the specific medical evidence needed to support a claim for benefits. Mental illnesses appear in Section 12.00 and include:
- 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders you may qualify under this listing if you have a severe phobia, post-traumatic stress, a panic disorder, or another anxiety-related condition.
- 12.08, Personality Disorders this is the listing under which you may qualify if you have severe, clinical depression.
- 12.04, Affective Disorders if you have bipolar disorder, your application will be reviewed under this listing.
Extensive medical records are necessary to qualify, including:
- Information on your diagnosis, ideally from a psychiatrist or psychologist
- Brain scans or other evidence of physical abnormalities that document an organic cause for symptoms, if applicable
- Treatment records, documenting medications, therapy, and other management methods used and their effects
- Thoroughly documented episodes of increased symptoms or periods of decompensation
- Well documented affects of your symptoms on your everyday abilities or activities of daily living
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Starting A Disability Claim
You can call the SSA at 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to fill out an application for SSDI or SSI disability benefits, or you can apply online if youre filing for SSDI benefits only or if youre applying for SSI and have never applied for SSI in the past and have never been married. When you fill out your disability application, include a detailed description of how your bipolar disorder affects your daily life, your social functioning, and your ability to make decisions, focus, remember information, and complete tasks quickly, and how often you have manic episodes and/or symptoms of depression. If you have both bipolar disorder and a physical impairment that makes it impossible for you to work, consider hiring a disability lawyer to help you file your Social Security claim, or if your initial claim gets denied, to file an appeal with the SSA.
Contact Our Attorneys For Help With Your Ssdi Claim Today
When your bipolar disorder prevents you from working, SSDI benefits may be the only thing that helps you keep a roof over your head and provide for your family. Dont risk having your application rejected. We can help you identify the weak points in your application, get the medical records to fix them, and maximize your chances of getting benefits.
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Medical Evidence Required For Disability Based On Bipolar Disorder
At the SSAs request, your treating doctor should submit to the SSA your psychiatric medical record showing the entire history of your bipolar disorder, including documentation of any severe or violent manic episodes. Your psychiatric record should include all treatments attempted, including any mood-stabilizing medications that youve tried, such as lithium, carbamazepine, or valproic acid, what your current prescribed therapy is, and whether you regularly comply with the prescribed therapy . Your medical record should also include the efficacy and side effects of each medication, and how their side effects, along with your symptoms, affect your daily activities, your functioning, and your ability to hold a job.
If there is evidence in your medical file that your doctor suspects your use of alcohol or drugs compounds your emotional problems, this can affect your claim. Learn more in our article on how alcoholism and drug dependence affect disability claims.
How Much Do I Get For Bipolar Disability
How much you can get as disability benefits if you have bipolar disability is essential information for you. Even though you clearly will not want your illness to deteriorate to a level where you need social security benefits to survive, this knowledge is essential.
People diagnosed with bipolar disorder may find it hard to hold down jobs. So the law steps in to protect them and ensure that they lead comfortable lives. The Social Security Administration has strict rules as to what qualifies as a disability. This article will explain whether bipolar disorder is a disability and how much social security income you can get for it.
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Experienced Ssdi & Ssi Help From Handler Henning & Rosenberg Llc
If you or someone you love is suffering from bipolar disorder and youre interested in finding out if you qualify forSocial Security Disability, youve come to the right place. AtHandler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we have decades of experience dealing with Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance applications andappeals in Pennsylvania. We know how these federal programs work and understand how to deal with state agencies as well, such as the Pennsylvania Bureau of Disability Determination , which is responsible for determining if applicants meet the SSAsdisability qualifications.
Filing For Social Security Disability Or Ssi With Bipolar Disorder
- Sleep disturbance
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Lack of energy or fatigue
- Appetite disturbances
- Paranoid thinking
- Involvement in activities that are likely to cause painful consequences without realizing it
a significant restriction of daily activities or severe difficulties maintaining social functioning or repeated instances of decompensation that last for extended periods of time or significant difficulties with persistence, concentration, or pace
- Repeated decompensation episodes of extended duration
- A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a small change in environment or increase in mental demands could be predicted to cause the person to decompensate, or a current one year or more history of a failure to function outside of a very supportive living environment with a projected continued need for the supportive living arrangement
impairment listing 12.04 A3, B, or CMost popular topics on SSDRC.com
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How Does Bipolar Limit Your Ability To Work
Bipolar disorder can make working difficult when youre experiencing manic episodes or depressive syndromes.
Some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder that can make a job demanding include:
- Intense euphoria
- Being unusually talkative, which can disrupt other employees
- Racing thoughts
- Irritability and agitation, which can impact customer service and interactions with other employees
- Poor memory
- Adapting to changing conditions or managing your own emotions
You should support your application for benefits with supporting evidence. This evidence may include:
- Medical records of hospitalizations and other incidents
- Statements from your general practitioner, counselor, and other health experts
- Proof youve engaged with medical professionals over time to manage your condition
Disability Benefits Program Options
You will most likely be applying for one of two main disability programs offered by the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income .
SSDI is for disabled workers and who have paid Social Security taxes from their paychecks. You will asked for a job history when you apply, which will show that you have worked for long enough to qualify for SSDI. This makes SSDI more suited for working adults. http://www.disability-benefits-help.org/ssdi/qualify-for-ssdi
SSI is another benefit program similar to SSDI, but is intended specifically for elderly and disabled individuals. Instead of a job history, you will be asked to demonstrate that you meet the SSAs strict financial limits. This makes children good candidates for SSI, since they will not have had much experience working. In the case of applications for children, the Social Security Administration will ask a parent to submit part of their finances for evaluation as well.
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How Does Va Rate Bipolar Disorder
VA rates all mental health conditions using the same diagnostic criteria. Mental health conditions are rated under 38 CFR § 4.130 according to VAs General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders. The rating percentages are as follows: 0%, 10%, 30%, 50%, 70%, or 100. Such ratings are based on the level of social and occupational impairment a condition presents. For example, if a veteran is experiencing mild bipolar disorder symptoms, they may receive a disability rating of only 10%. Veterans with more severe bipolar disorder symptoms such as an intermittent inability to perform the activities of daily living or suicidal ideation may receive a higher rating disability rating.