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How To Collect Disability For Mental Illness

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Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits

Applying for Disability Benefits with a Mental Illness

The Canada Pension Plan provides monthly payments to people who contribute to the plan during their working years.

You may be eligible for CPP disability benefits if:

  • you contributed to the CPP for a certain number of years
  • you’re under 65 years old
  • you have a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability
  • your disability prevents you from working on a regular basis

The benefits include payments to children of a person with a disability.

Apply as early as possible if you think you’re eligible for CPP disability benefits. Quebec residents may be eligible for a similar program called the Quebec Pension Plan . It may take several months to process your application.

If you applied for CPP or QPP disability benefits and were told that you’re not eligible, you can ask to have your application reviewed or considered again.

Once you reach age 65, your CPP disability benefit will automatically change to regular CPP payments. Your regular CPP payments may be less than the CPP disability payments you got before.

If so, consider:

Relevant Literature: Receipt Of Benefits

Using data from the Epidemiological Catchment Area Study , examined predictors of SSDI/SSI receipt. They found that persons who were already receiving benefits at baseline and those who began receiving benefits in the following year had less education and household income than did nonrecipients and were more likely to be male, unmarried, and middle aged . Several clinical measures were associated with greater odds of both receiving benefits at baseline and starting to receive benefits during the study: panic disorder, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the presence of two or more disorders. In contrast, did not find differences between clinical variables in homeless mentally ill veterans who were and were not awarded SSDI/SSI benefits.

looked at differences among three groups of sheltered care residents with a serious mental illness: SSI recipients, nonrecipients believed to be eligible for benefits based on their income, and nonrecipients believed to be ineligible. Results indicated that the income-eligible nonrecipients were younger and had had more education than had the other two groups. The SSI recipients were less likely to be married than were those in the two nonrecipient groups, and they also had fewer hours of recent contact with family and friends.

Medical Expense Tax Credit

You can claim the cost of certain medicines, devices and treatments to get a medical expense tax credit.

You can claim these expenses for yourself, your spouse or common-law partner, or your children.

You may get the tax credit for expenses such as:

  • changes you made to your home or car to make it more accessible
  • accessible computer software
  • braille printers

You usually need a prescription to claim disability supports.

You may get the disability supports deduction even if you’re not eligible for the disability tax credit.

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Medical Vocational Allowance For Depression

The standard of proof for getting disability benefits for depression is high, and some people may not meet the standard but still are unable to work. If that happens you can still be eligible for disability benefits under the Medical Vocational Allowance. To qualify this way you need to download the Residual Functional Capacity evaluation form from the SSA website. Your doctor or psychologist needs to fill out this form and provide detailed information about your illness and the limitations you have as a result of that illness.

Then, the SSA will look at the RFC evaluation and your work history, the skills you have, and the limitations caused by your illness. They will try to find some type of work that you can do with the skills and limitations that you have. If they cant find any kind of work that you can do then you will be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

Talk To A Disability Lawyer

How many people who have serious mental illness do not ...

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    Information About Family Members

    • Social Security numbers and proof of age for each family member who may qualify for benefits and
    • Proof of marriage, if your spouse is applying for benefits, as well as dates of prior marriages, if applicable.

    If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay filing for benefits. We will help you get the information you need.

    When A Mental Health Condition Becomes A Disability

    A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010.

    Your condition is long term if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.

    Normal day-to-day activity is defined as something you do regularly in a normal day. This includes things like using a computer, working set times or interacting with people.

    If your mental health condition means you are disabled you can get support at work from your employer.

    There are many different types of mental health condition which can lead to a disability, including:

    • dementia

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    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.

    Common Reasons Claims For Disability For Mental Health Disorders Are Denied

    Applying for Disability – mental illness

    Have you been denied disability for mental illness? You are not alone. Insurance companies have wrongfully denied disability for mental illness claims for years, and this practice is unlikely to stop. While their reasoning can vary, these denials are often based on your efforts to seek mental health treatment.

    Insurance companies are quick to deny a claim if they can show you are making no effort to get better. This could involve skipping out on regular visits with your primary care physician. It could also mean you are not regularly seeing a psychiatrist or receiving psychological treatment.

    There are other excuses, too. Not only will your insurance company monitor you to ensure you are seeking medical care, but they will also judge the quality of that care. If they believe your mental health care is substandard, they will deny your claim for benefits. This is also the case if your healthcare providers fail to thoroughly document your treatment. Even if the treatment prescribed was appropriate and followed to the letter, substandard documentation could provide the insurance company with the grounds they need to deny the claim.

    Have you been denied disability for mental illness previously? If so, an experienced lawyer might be able to help.

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    Who Makes The Decision About Your Disability

    Specially trained staff who work in the Disability Adjudication Unit of the Ministry of Community and Social Services will:

    • look at the information you provide about your disability, and

    This is called the Disability Determination Process. It is only done after we decide you qualify financially for Income Support.

    How The Ssa Views Mental Claims

    Disability claims examiners who work for Social Security are not licensed psychiatrists, and do not always understand the full scope of the limitations imposed by certain mental illnesses. For instance, some disability examiners do not recognize the cyclical nature of mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder , and may assume a patient is cured because he or she does not currently display certain symptoms. But in reality, those symptoms may have just dissipated for the moment and could return in the near future.

    In addition, some disability examiners may be biased against disability claims for mental illness. There are those who believe that some disability applicants who claim mental illness are lazy or malingering . This is unsettling since there are so many individuals who suffer from mental illness worldwide, but it is partially due to the fact that the criteria for evaluating most mental disorders is subjective. There are very few tests to evaluate the severity of an individual’s mental condition. Only mental conditions such as intellectual disorder , memory impairments, or other neurocognitive disorders can be tested objectively .

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    The Application Process For Ssdi Or Ssi

    Warning: This is a bureaucratic process. Dont be surprised if it takes several months to get a response, or if you get turned down the first time you apply. This is in part because, as the National Alliance on Mental Illness notes, claims reviewers are not necessarily knowledgeable about mental health conditions so include as much documentation about your diagnosis as possible. To begin the process of applying for mental health-related disability, click here.

    And, remember you can always appeal. If you dont have already have a lawyer with experience in disability benefits, Plotnick suggests finding your states Protection & Advocacy Systems and Client Assistance Programs agency through the National Disability Rights Network. The American Bar Association also has a list of free legal resources.

    Five Things To Know About Getting Disability For Mental Illness


    A severe mental illness can be incapacitating, making it impossible to work. Bouts of illness, concentration problems, difficulty communicating, medical appointments, and unplanned absences can make getting and keeping a job extremely difficult.

    With no work and no steady source of income, thousands of people with mental health conditions apply each year for Social Security Disability benefits in hopes of receiving a monthly check.

    If only it were that easy.

    The reality is that getting Disability for mental illness can be challenging and requires more effort than filling out a few forms. Because mental illness is a hidden or invisible condition and is often subjective in nature, it can be among the most difficult Disability claims to prove. Still, it is not impossible and it is worth the effort.

    A good starting point is to take some time to understand how the Social Security Administration handles these types of cases. Heres a crash-course on mental disorder Disability claims, complete with five things you should know:

    If your condition does not meet the criteria of a Blue Book listing, but you can prove that your mental illness prevents you from working any job, you could still qualify for benefits. The Social Security Administration will determine whether or not you are able to work any job by evaluating your work history, age, and physical and mental capabilities.

    Recommended Reading: Calculate State Disability Benefits California

    Filing For Social Security Disability With A Bipolar Disorder Diagnosis

    If an individuals Bipolar Disorder is constant and impairs all ability to function in a work environment, that person may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Any individual with Bipolar Disorder can be eligible for disability benefits if he/she meets the evaluation criteria listed in the Social Security Administrations Blue Book, and if he/she has received a medical vocational disability endorsement based on the person’s residual functional ability, education and age.

    Mental Illness And Substance Abuse Limitation Rider

    Whether your mental illness is a pre-existing condition or was diagnosed after you purchased coverage, your disability insurance may be governed by a limitation rider. Insurers may call it different things, such as:

    • Mental/nervous & substance abuse limitation rider

    • Mental disorder/substance abuse limitation rider

    • Mental and/or substance-related disorders limitation rider

    Whatever itâs called, this rider limits the benefit period â the span of time during which you can receive disability insurance benefit payments â to just two years for disabilities caused by a mental illness.

    That means if youâre still disabled after the shortened benefit period ends, youâll no longer be eligible for benefit payments. The benefit period for other disabilities remains unchanged.

    Depending on the state you live in, your insurer may require you to have this rider. In other cases, the rider may be optional and free to add, and you could potentially receive a discount of as much as 10% off your premiums for adding it.

    If youâre willing to pay higher premiums, you can get a disability insurance policy without this rider, giving you unlimited coverage for mental illness if youâre otherwise eligible.

    The mental illness and substance abuse limitation rider may be required for some people in certain professions. But higher-paid professionals, such as attorneys or certain types of doctors, may qualify for a disability insurance policy without a limitation rider.


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    Are Mental Illnesses Eligible For Disability Benefits

    Yes. Mental illness is a common reason for people to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

    In fact, more than a third of all recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance in recent years qualified because of mental disorders, according to Social Security numbers.

    Thats 3.6 million people.

    Still, just like with so many other aspects of living with a mental illness, applying for disability benefits comes with unique challenges.

    People have a harder time seeing and understanding mental health problems than they do physical illnesses.

    This can include people looking at your disability case, like health care providers and Social Security claims examiners.

    But with the right medical evidence and a strong application, you can improve your chances of winning benefits and regain some stability in your life after your health forced you from work.

    How Can You Improve Your Chances Of Being Approved For A Mental Illness

    Applying for Disability Benefits with a Mental Illness.

    The most important way to increase your chance of getting approved for an emotional disability or mental disability is to show the SSA you have been seeing a psychologist and/or a psychiatrist regularly for at least one year and that you have adhered to treatment plans . Letting an experienced disability representative handle your claim will also significantly make it much more likely you will be approved. Contact London Disability today to learn more about getting disability for mental or emotional conditions.

    Recommended Reading: How Much Do You Get On Disability In California

    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.

    If You Meet The Definition Of A Person With A Disability

    Your local Ontario Disability Support Program office will confirm that you still qualify financially. If you still qualify, you will receive Income Support.

    If the Disability Adjudication Unit thinks that your disability might get better over time, you will also be given a date for a Medical Review.

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    If You Don’t Meet A Listing

    If your condition doesn’t meet the listing requirements for your condition, the SSA will look at your symptoms to determine your “mental residual functional capacity” . Your MRFC is the most you can do despite the mental limitations you have. If the SSA decides you don’t have the MRFC to work on a regular and sustained basis, full time, you will be approved for benefits otherwise, you will be denied.

    To determine what type of mental capacity you have, Social Security will look at your medical records and any opinions submitted by your psychiatrist or psychologist. You should have a doctor who specializes in mental conditions prepare an MRFC report for you. It is very hard to win a claim based on a mental condition without the support of a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist, and without a detailed report from the psychiatrist or psychologist about your mental limitations and how they limit you.

    Social Security will look to see the extent of any limitations you have in the following areas:

    • your ability to understand and remember information
    • your ability to follow directions and control your behavior
    • your ability to get along with others)
    • your ability to tolerate stress
    • your ability to concentrate, complete tasks, and get work done in an appropriate amount of time
    • your ability to adapt to changes, and
    • your activities of daily living

    The more limitations your mental condition causes, or more severe your limitations are, the more likely you are to get approved for benefits.

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