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How Much Does Mental Health Disability Pay

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What If My Application Is Denied

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If your application for disability is denied, you have several different options. When you receive a notice that your application has been denied, you have 60 days to formally appeal the decision. There are four steps to an appeal:

  • You can request a reconsideration if your application was denied based on medical reasons, income, living arrangements, or other reasons that you disagree with. When you file a reconsideration, someone from the SSA who was not involved in your original determination will review your application and any new evidence.

  • If you disagree with the SSAs decision after a reconsideration, you may request a hearing by an administrative law judge who was not involved in your first determination. The hearing may take place in-person or through video.

  • If you are denied benefits after a hearing with an administrative law judge, you may request a review by the Appeals Council. The council will consider all requests, but may deny your request if they determine that the decision made by the administrative law judge was accurate. If the council reviews your case, they will either make a decision on their own or send your appeal to another administrative law judge.

  • The last level of the appeals process is filing a civil suit in federal court. You may do so if the Appeals Council refuses your case or you disagree with their decision. You have 60 days after receiving the Appeals Councils decision to file a civil suit.

Meeting A Disability Listing For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

The Social Security Administration will automatically grant disability benefits for depression or bipolar disorder if you can show you have the symptoms and limitations listed in its official disability listing for depression or bipolar disorder. The SSA will consider treatment notes from your doctor or psychologist, mental status evaluations, psychological testing, and any reports of hospitalizations.

Symptoms. To qualify for either disability benefits on the basis of depression, you must show you have at least five of the following symptoms:

  • depressed mood
  • involvement in risky activities with painful consequences that are not recognized, and/or
  • increase in physical agitation or in in goal-directed activity .

Limitations. For either disorder, you must show that you also have a loss of abilities, either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a marked limitation in two or more of the following areas:

  • adapting to change or managing oneself
  • concentrating on and finishing tasks
  • interacting with others using use socially appropriate behaviors, and/or
  • understanding, remembering, or using information .

Social Security Disability Insurance

To be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance , you must not only be disabled, but you must also have built up sufficient “work credits” with Social Security. Exactly how many credits you will need depends on your age and the year you became disabled. You must have worked some part of five of the last ten years before you became disabled.

If your application is approved, your Social Security disability benefits will include cash payments in an amount determined based on your personal earnings record. Average payments range from $1,100 to $1,300 a month. Higher earners who paid higher FICA taxes will get a larger benefit.

After collecting disability benefits for 24 months, you will become eligible for Medicare, regardless of your age. In the meantime, if your income is low, you may qualify for Medicaid.

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Service Connection For Bipolar Disorder

If you are a veteran suffering from bipolar disorder, you may be eligible for VA disability benefits. In order to receive monthly disability compensation, you must first establish service connection. The following three elements of service connection are required by VA:

  • A current diagnosis of bipolar disorder
  • An in-service event, injury, or illness
  • A medical nexus linking the current diagnosis of bipolar disorder to the in-service incurrence

One of the first pieces of evidence VA looks for when determining a veterans eligibility for service connection are in-service treatment records. If symptoms of bipolar disorder emerged while a veteran was in the military and he or she sought treatment with a mental health counselor, it should be documented in-service records. In some cases, veterans do not have in-service records detailing the onset of their bipolar disorder. Here, veterans can provide lay statements from themselves, family, friends, or fellow service members describing how bipolar disorder has affected them.

Social Security Considers A Variety Of Factors When Granting Disability Benefits For A Mental Disorder:

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  • Does the applicant meet Social Securitys definition of disability?
  • Does the applicants mental health condition match a Social Security impairment listing and meet its criteria?
  • What treatment is the applicant receiving and what is their prognosis? .
  • Has the applicant been hospitalized for their disorder?
  • Can the applicant perform their former job? Can the applicant understand basic instructions? Are they abele to concentrate, maintain pace and interact with co-workers and the public?
  • If the applicant is not able to perform their former job, is there other work the applicant is capable of ?

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Can Discrimination Be Allowed

Some kinds of discrimination arent allowed. A service or employer cant discriminate directly against a disabled person.

Indirect discrimination and discrimination arising from a disability can affect a disabled person. However, a service or employer can allow this if it is a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. We explain this sentence below.

What is a legitimate aim?

The Equality Act doesnt say what a legitimate aim is, but this could be quite broad. Legitimate means valid. Something is likely to be a valid aim if it is fair and reasonable.

This could include:

  • the health and safety of staff or people using a service,
  • the needs of the service, and
  • needing to make a profit.

What does proportionate mean?

Proportionate means fair. There must be a balance between the service or employers needs and your needs as a disabled person.

When a service or employer is thinking about their aims, they should make sure they are fair. They should try to reach their aim in a way that discriminates the least.

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.

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Social Security Disability Benefits

Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance are disability income benefits administered by the Social Security Administration that also provide Medicaid and/or Medicare health insurance to individuals who are eligible. The application process for SSI/SSDI is complicated and difficult to navigate. Nationally, about 37 percent of individuals who apply for these benefits are approved on initial application and appeals take an average of two years to complete.

For people who are homeless or who are returning to the community from institutions , access to these programs can be extremely challenging. Approval on initial application for people who are homeless and who have no one to assist them is about 10-15 percent. For those who have a mental illness, substance use issues, or co-occurring disorders that impair cognition, the application process is even more difficult yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery.

Critical components of SOAR include:

  • Serving as the applicants representative
  • Collecting medical records
  • Writing a medical Summary Report
  • Conducting quality review
  • Please contact a regional coordinator below to find your nearest SOAR Specialist:
Ashley Blum

Disability Benefits For Veterans

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You may be eligible for disability benefits if you’re on disability from your service in the Canadian Armed Forces or Merchant Navy.

You may get social assistance payments from:

  • your province or territory
  • your First Nation

These payments will depend on your household income, savings and investments.

You may also be eligible for health-related benefits from your province or territory. These benefits may include benefits that help cover the cost of:

  • medications
  • medical aids or devices

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Payments For People 16 And Older

If youre 16 or older you may be eligible for the following payments.

Disability Support Pension is a payment for people with a permanent physical, intellectual or psychiatric condition that stops you working.

JobSeeker Payment is an income support payment if youre between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. Its also for when youre sick or injured and cant do your usual work or study for a short time.

Youth Allowance for job seekers is an income support payment if youre 21 or younger and looking for work, or temporarily unable to work.

Mobility Allowance helps with travel costs for work, study or looking for work. You may get it if you cant use public transport without help because of disability.

The Pensioner Education Supplement is a regular extra payment to help with study costs. If you get PES, you may also get a one off Education Entry Payment.

There’s extra support available to help you find a job, study or train. Read more about disability support.

You may also be able to get extra payments to help with the cost of living such as:

You can use our Payment and Service Finder to help find payments you may be able to get.

Read about the Medicare payments and other health care services that can help you with the cost of:

  • health services

Mental Disorders And Physical Conditions

We used two self-reported criteria to determine the presence of mental disorders. The first criterion was an affirmative response to one of several questions about the presence of specific mental disorders or OTHER mental or emotional disorders in the past 12 months. The questions were presented as checklists in the 1994 and 1995 NHIS-D interviews.

The second criterion was based on the reporting of a medical condition, coded by ICD-9 categories , that fell within the range of codes used for mental illness . Data on conditions were available from both the 1994 and 1995 NHIS-D and Core data sets.

We considered an affirmative answer to one or more of the mental disorder checklist items or the mention of a condition within the specified range of ICD-9 codes as indicating the presence of a mental disorder. Mental retardation, mental disorders with an organic origin, and childhood-specific mental disorders were excluded from this definition. We incorporated substance abuse conditions, along with checklist items regarding alcohol and drug abuse disorders, into a separate substance abuse variable.

We identified those persons with reported conditions that fell outside ICD-9 codes 290.0 through 319.99 as having a physical condition.

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According To John Hopkins Medicine 26% Of Americans 18 And Older Suffer From Some Type Of Mental Disorder In A Given Year And Many People Suffer From More Than One Mental Illness

Mental illness is a range of mental health conditions that affect mood, thinking and behavior. Mental disorders include illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, addictive behaviors and eating disorders. Its not uncommon for people to experience some mental health concerns from time to time, but a concern becomes a mental disorder when it impacts an individuals ability to function, causing problems at home, school or work.

What Is The Child Element For Universal Credit

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The child element of Universal Credit will be available to you if you’re responsible for a child who lives with you.

Universal Credit child element exemptions

You will receive an additional amount for a second child, and for any other child born before 6 April 2017. You won’t receive any extra money for a third child born on or after this date – unless one of the following exemption applies:

  • You have a multiple birth – if you have other children born before 6 April 2017, you won’t get a payment for the first child in a multiple birth.
  • Your third or later child is disabled – to qualify they must be receiving DLA or PIP.
  • You have a child from rape or a controlling relationship.
  • You’re responsible for a child under 16 who has a child, and they both live with you.
  • You’ve adopted a child from the UK
  • You’re caring for someone else’s child

We would recommend you speak to a welfare benefits advisor who can help you further with your application.

Universal Credit disabled child addition

If any of your children live with a disability and receive either Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment you will receive a higher amount – irrespective of how many children you have – and you won’t be affected by the benefit cap.

You will receive the disabled child element if your child is entitled to either:

  • DLA without the highest rate of the care component.
  • PIP without the enhanced rate of the daily living component.

Universal Credit child element rates

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Limited Capability For Work Universal Credit Element

The Limited capability for work is for people who are too unwell to work at the time of your Universal Credit assessment. You will have to do work training and work-related activities to help prepare you for work.

The government has made changes to limited capability for work element . If you claim after 3 April 2017, you will not get an extra payment for getting the LCW element and payments will continue at the rate as the standard allowance.

However, If you have claimed before 3 April 2017 and the DWP have already said you have LCW you will continue to receive an extra £128.89 each month.

Benefits For Disabled Adults

SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.

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How To Show Your Depression Is A Disability

While some of these conditions seem to be clear cut on paper, other components are hard to prove outside of medical documentation. This is why its important to get mental health professionals involved in your treatment so that it can be clearly documented by authoritative figures who can help you secure an SSDI Award Letter.

If you do not meet any of the conditions in the Blue Book, your claim will still be evaluated as a possible medical-vocational allowance, which will take into account your medical records. These medical records will come from certified or licensed mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, clinics, or even hospitals. The recommendations of social workers and nurse practitioners do not carry much weight in this analysis in comparison to psychiatrists and psychologists, so if those professionals are not available to you, mention that in your application.

Its a good idea to confirm with your mental health professionals that their reports reflect how symptoms of depression or anxiety impacted your daily life and the effectiveness of their treatment plan. Choosing not to take medication may count against you, but being unable to get it because of its price or side effects are acceptable reasons.

Depression And Related Disorders


This group is listed in § 12.03 of the Blue Book, and includes more than just depression. Depression, major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder I, bipolar disorder II, cyclothymic disorder, and dysthymia area all included in this section.

These disorders include feelings of depression, loss of interest or pleasure, hopelessness, guilt, suicidal thoughts, and physical effects including changes in weight, appetite, sleep, and energy. If these thoughts, feelings, and physical effects are severe enough to interfere with your work, you may qualify for disability. Since this is likely one of the most widely-diagnosed disorders, proving your disability is severe enough to affect work is crucial to getting disability coverage.

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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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