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How To Win A Bipolar Disability Case

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How To Win Disability Benefits For Bipolar Mood Disorder

How to Win a Mental Health Social Security Disability Case in Georgia

There are specific challenges in preparing your long-term disability benefits claim for bipolar mood disorder. Ive already described the steps you should take to gain a firm diagnosis for bipolar mood disorder. Remember, the CPP disability administration will not approve your CPP disability benefits just because a doctor diagnosed you with the condition. If only it were that easy. To win CPP disability benefits for bipolar mood disorder, the true challenge is to prove that your symptoms render you unable to function in any workplace while taking into account your age and work experience.

You will have to present a very well organized application that includes well-documented medical evidence. In addition to comments and descriptions made above, here are the main points to consider for bipolar mood disorder:

  • Be aware that some insurance policies limit mental illness disability claims to two years. So, if you have other disabling conditions , it is important to include those in the claim as well.
  • It is critical that you are under the care of a psychiatrist.
  • If recommended by your doctor, is is very important to receive treatment from a psychologist.
  • It is vital that you follow and have followed your doctors treatment recommendations completely.
  • Past refusal to take medications will often be grounds for a claim denial unless this action is supported by your psychiatrist in a well-documented treatment plan.

Veterans With Bipolar Disorder Disability

Veterans suffering from disabling mental disorders that occurred in or were aggravated during service may obtain disability compensation. Bipolar disorder is considered a disability by the VA. Its listed in their Schedule for Rating Disabilities under Mental Disorders, and specifically under Mood Disorders.

The VA rates disabilities according to loss of function and the effect on your ability to work and earn a living. The VA schedule doesnt cover all forms of mental illnesses, despite how disabling the condition may be. An incorrect diagnosis could result in denial of benefits you would otherwise be entitled to receive for bipolar disorder.

Mental Health Claims Increasingly Difficult To Win In Social Security Disability Claims

In the Social Security disability world, claims based on mental health conditions are increasingly difficult to win. With limited exception MRIs, CT scans and other brain imaging technology cannot conclusively document the existence of a mental health problem. Social Security decision makers, be they adjudicators or administrative law judges, are left to rely on treatment notes from psychologists, psychiatrists and other therapists to identify a diagnosis and to evaluate the severity of the underlying mental health condition in terms of how that condition impacts work.

These decision makers also must rely on written statements from third parties and testimony from the disability applicant to understand medication side effects and the real world implications of living with a significant mental health condition.

Adjudicators and judges are also facing increased pressure from SSA to deny claims that cannot be documented with objective diagnostic testing. Since mental health conditions generally cannot be viewed claimants pursuing disability based on a mental condition face an uphill battle.

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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.

Qualifying For Disability Based On Reduced Functional Capacity

Your Hearing

If you don’t qualify under the SSA’s requirements for bipolar disorder, above, the SSA must next consider to what extent your bipolar symptoms impair your ability to work . The SSA will give you a rating of the type of work it thinks you can do . This is called your mental residual functional capacity .

If the SSA finds that you cannot perform even unskilled work , the SSA might grant you benefits under a “medical-vocational allowance.” But if you didn’t meet the official listing above, it’s likely the SSA will find that you can do at least unskilled work. And since there are so many unskilled jobs in our economy, it’s unlikely that you’ll be granted disability benefits unless you are 55 or older and have no more than an elementary school education. For these reasons, most claimants applying for disability benefits for bipolar disorder either qualify under the official listing above or they don’t qualify at all. However, if you have a physical impairment in addition to bipolar disorder, your physical RFC combined with your mental RFC can rule out so many unskilled jobs that there aren’t any left you can do.

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The Ultimate Adult Function Report Tutorial

After months and months of careful preparation, I have created The Ultimate Adult Function Report Tutorial that will teach you step-by-step how to complete one of the trickiest forms Social Security requires you to complete.

You will learn why this form is so tricky and how to phrase your answers in a way that will make it very clear to Social Security how difficult things are for you.

This is the same method I use with my own clients to help them complete the form properly. The wrong answers CAN and WILL be used against you if Social Security wants to deny your claim.

Take a quick free sneak peek before you purchase the course and learn why it is so important to complete this form the correct way!

Simply click on the image below to sign up for the course. It is priced very reasonably so you can learn to complete this form without breaking the bank!

You just learned some tips and tricks on how to win a disability claims due to a mental illness, but do you know how to read your medical records to see if they are actually supporting your disability?

If you are looking to file for disability and dont know where to start, I created a course called the 5 Day File your Disability Claim Guide where I teach you every step you should take to file your claim.

Simply click on the image below and it will take you directly to the course page. Take afree sneak peek of the first lesson to see if this course is for you.

Until next time

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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Hiring A Disability Lawyer With The Experience To Win Your Ssd & Ssi Benefits

If you want legal representation at your disability hearing, and you should, hire Cannon Disability Law. You need to know the questions the administrative law judge will ask you. Also, you need to know what are the most important issues in your case. That is why you hire an SSD lawyer, because we have gone to court before and we know what is going to happen. We can also help you by reviewing the questions judges typically ask at disability hearings. If you speak Spanish, we also have an attorney and staff that speak fluent Spanish.

Listing 1208 Personality And Impulse

Bipolar Disorder and Social Security Disability in 2017

12.08 Personality and impulse-control disorders , satisfied by A and B:

  • Medical documentation of a pervasive pattern of one or more of the following:
  • Distrust and suspiciousness of others
  • Detachment from social relationships
  • Excessive need to be taken care of
  • Preoccupation with perfectionism and orderliness or
  • Recurrent, impulsive, aggressive behavioral outbursts.
  • Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning :
  • Understand, remember, or apply information .
  • Interact with others .
  • Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace .
  • Adapt or manage oneself .
  • This list of symptoms may or may not contain all of your mental issues. However, even if it contains some of your symptoms, you should make sure to have your treating physician write about these symptoms in his or her progress notes. Progress notes are the notes a doctor makes when you visit the doctors office. Your doctor bases his or her progress notes on the symptoms you report and on observation. If you fail to report your symptoms to your doctor, then they wont appear in the progress notes and you will not get the treatment you need for your mental condition.

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    For Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries

    If you receive SSD benefits, you have a trial work period of nine months that allows you to test your ability to work without risking your benefits. Be sure to check how many months you have left of your trial work period before you begin. A month only counts if you earn over $720. After the trial work period ends, you will not receive benefits in months where you earn over $1000. For three years after the end of your trial work period, you can begin receiving benefits again if you stop earning $1000/month and you?re still disabled this is called Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, or EXR.

    Consideration Of Your Residual Functional Capacity

    If the SSA says you don’t meet the disability listing, the SSA will consider what you can do. It does this by writing up your mental residual functional capacity . An MRFC is a description of what tasks you can do in a work setting it explains your communication skills, your ability to relate to others, your ability to speak to the public, and whether you can be reliable in showing up to work.

    For instance, say you have bipolar disorder and there is evidence in your medical records that you have moderate impairment in your social functioning caused by mood swings and you have a moderate level of difficulty with concentration. Your RFC might look like the following: you have no limitations in walking/standing/sitting, you are unable to work with the public, and you are limited to simple 1-2 step instructions. This RFC would prevent you from working in many occupations, but you still would not be found disabled since there are simple unskilled jobs that do not require working with the public. Read more about how the SSA makes this decision in our article on how the SSA evaluates an RFC for disability.

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    Bipolar Disorder: Winning Social Security Disability In Dallas Texas

    As a Texas attorney practicing social security disability exclusively in Dallas and North Texas for 25 years, I have won many social security disability insurance and supplemental security income cases based upon bipolar syndrome. Bipolar I Disorder is the more serious of the two types of Bipolar Disorders. This is due to the presence of Manic Episodes in the criteria for Bipolar I Disorder. There is an absence of Manic Episodes in the criteria for Bipolar II Disorder, rather it involves a history of hypomania. Hypomania is similar to mania however, it is not serious enough to cause social or occupational impairment, hospitalization, or psychotic feature This is due to the presence of Manic Episodes in the criteria for Bipolar I Disorder. There is an absence of Manic Episodes in the criteria for Bipolar II Disorder, rather it involves a history of hypomania. Hypomania is similar to mania however, it is not serious enough to cause social or occupational impairment, hospitalization, or psychotic features.

    Medical documentation of Bipolar Disorder, characterized by three or more of the following:

    Pressured speech

    Win Disability Benefits With A Mental Disorder Impairment Listing

    Winning Disability Benefits for Bipolar Mood Disorder ...

    When analyzing Mental Disorder claims, Social Security will use a Listing of Impairments. There are special Listings for Mental Disorders. The beauty of Impairment Listings is that if you meet the requirements of a Listed Impairment, you win. The Mental Listings include the following disorders:

    You can be diagnosed with any one or more of the above Mental Disorders and still not meet a Listing. Indeed, many people work with Mental Impairments such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, Agoraphobia, and other Listed disorders. When work limitations caused by the Mental Disorders become too severe, that is when you can win disability with a Mental Disorder by meeting a Listing. Social Security refers to this as the B Criteria requirement of the Mental Disorder Listings.

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    Can I Still Win Ssd And Ssi Benefits If I Do Not Meet A Listing

    Even if you do not meet a listing, you can still win disability benefits. To reiterate, it is very difficult to meet a listing. However, without meeting a listing, some Claimants come very close and may be disabled regardless. Dont give up. There are other ways of winning disability without meeting a listing.

    During the disability decision-making process, the Social Security Administration will take evidence from a vocational expert. A vocational expert is an expert on jobs. The vocational expert will indicate that you cannot work and you are disabled if you need frequent and excessive amounts of break time during work. Likewise, a vocational expert will state that you are only allowed a certain number of absences on a weekly or monthly basis. If you regularly need more absences, you cannot work and you are disabled.

    Of course, you must prove you will need excessive break time and absenteeism. You can show this with attendance records from past jobs that you lost. More importantly, however, you will need opinions from your doctors regarding the need for extra work breaks and absences.

    Are Your Medical Records Sufficient

    In many mental health cases, you will see handwritten notes from either a primary care physician, a psychologist or a psychiatrist. The good new about this is that many patients with depression have a consistent history of regular visits to a mental health professional, as well as a solid professional relationship with that professional.

    A common problem with mental health treatment records, however, relates to the fact that claimants often change providers because of insurance changes, financial problems or because of an apparent lack of progress.

    You should be aware that depression is a fairly common mental health condition and the work activity limitations arising from depression or anxiety can range greatly. Social Security decision makers will look for some very specific things in your medical record. There are basically three ways to win a depression or anxiety case:

  • you can meet the listing for depression as set forth at 12.00 . The listing for depression is here, and the listing for anxiety is here. However, you and your mental health professional should look at the entirety of Listing 12 to see if any of the other sections apply.
  • you can prove that your functional capacity for work been so diminished by your mental health condition that you would not be able to reliably perform any kind of job even an unskilled, low pressure type of job?
  • Lets review each way you can win a depression or anxiety case:

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    How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed

    The insurance company will require proof of your diagnosis for your bipolar disorder long term disability claim.

    The first step in getting the correct diagnosis is to talk to a doctor. Your doctor may conduct a physical examination, an interview, and lab tests.

    Bipolar disorder cannot be identified through a blood test or a brain scan, but these tests can help rule out other contributing factors, such as a stroke or brain tumor. If your symptoms are not caused by other illnesses, your doctor may conduct a mental health evaluation. Your doctor may also provide a referral to a trained mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating bipolar disorder.

    Your doctor or mental health professional will likely conduct a complete diagnostic evaluation. A careful and complete history of symptoms is needed to assure your bipolar disorder is not mistakenly diagnosed as a major depressive disorder.

    In addition, your doctor or mental health professional will likely discuss any family history of bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses. Your doctor or mental health professional may also talk to your close relatives or spouse to see how they describe your symptoms and family medical history.

    Bipolar Disorder & Social Security Disability Eligibility

    Anxiety Disorder and Social Security Disability: Winning Strategies for Your Claim

    Bipolar disorder is recognized by the SSA as a disabling condition, but a person applying for SSDI or SSI must still show that their condition is severe enough to qualify them for benefits.

    Bipolar disorder is characterized by the SSA as three or more of the following symptoms/behaviors:

    • Frantic, rapid speech patterns
    • Shifting, disconnected thoughts
    • An unrealistic sense of ones worth
    • Being easily distracted and unable to focus/concentrate
    • Participation in high-risk activities without recognizing the risk
    • Engaging in multiple projects at the same time without completing any or making physical movements that serve no purpose

    To consider a person with bipolar disorder to be disabled, the SSA requires that the person has a severe limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following:

    • Comprehending, recalling, or applying information
    • Interacting or working together with other people
    • Focusing, persisting, maintaining pace
    • Adapting, adjusting, or managing himself or herself

    The Pennsylvania BDD will also consider whether your bipolar disorder isserious and persistent. This means you havemedical documentation that it has lasted at least two years, and youve received ongoing medical treatment or therapy but find it extremely difficult to adjust or adapt to changes and new thingsthings that are not already part of our normal routine.

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