So Can A Person Qualify As Disabled Based Solely On Mental Health Conditions
The short answer is yes, but it is more difficult to collect disability for mental health impairments than physical ones because the severity of mental health conditions can be very difficult to measure objectively.
For example, its relatively easy to prove disabilities like a bad back we look at x-ray and MRI images and we can see it. Proving something like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or other mental health disorders for disability is not as clear-cut.
So how does a person prove that his or her mental health impairment is severe enough to be disabling under Social Security Administration rules?
As with physical impairments, there are two ways under the SSAs system to prove that a mental impairment is severe enough to warrant an award of Social Security disability benefits.
Meeting a Listing for Disability for Mental Health
Inability to Work Due to Reduced Residual Functional Capacity
Is It Hard To Get On Disability For Mental Disorders
Each listing in the social security disability categories has two paragraphs designated A and B. To qualify for disability you must satisfy the requirements of both paragraphs. Some listings have three paragraphs designated A, B, and Cto qualify for disability you must satisfy the requirements of paragraphs A and B or A and C.
To receive social security disability benefits for a mental health medical condition, you need to demonstrate objective medical evidence from an acceptable source that you have a medical disorder that is listed in the Blue Book and can be medically determined. The Social Security Administration will also assess the severity of your mental illness and its effect on your ability to function in a work setting.
If You Live In Quebec
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:
Recommended Reading: Is Fibromyalgia A Long Term Disability
Eligibility For Disability Benefits
From the viewpoint of the SSA, the same criteria apply to physical conditions and mental ones. In either case, the SSA requires that the disability:
- Has lasted or will last for at least one year
- Prevents you from doing any work you already know
- Stops you from receiving training for new work
If you meet all of these elements, you can receive disability benefits from the SSA.
How Can I Get Veterans Disability Compensation For Ptsd
Under VA rules, first you need to meet three conditions:
- you are properly diagnosed with PTSD, and
- the stressor happened during your military service , and
- due to your resulting symptoms, you cannot function in normal life as you formerly could.
Submit a claim that fulfills these demands, and VA will likely find you are qualified to receive disability compensation.
While this may sound straightforward, there are many details that your condition must satisfy before it can be considered service-connected. Your case will go through VAs screening process and you will undergo a C& P exam.
Possible VA ratings for PTSD are 0, 10, 30, 50, 70, and 100 percent, depending on the severity of your symptoms. The VA will consider all your mental impairments together, under the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders.
Learn how VA rates PTSD and how the C& P evaluation affects your claim in our article: Understand Your PTSD Rating.
Once your condition fulfills all VAs requirements for PTSD, it can then technically be considered a disability for the purpose of veterans compensation.
Don’t Miss: How Much Disability Will I Get In California
Months And Disability Benefits
Its important to note that the SSA will not approve any applicants who do not expect to be out of work for at least 12 months. This means that many applicants with mental illnesses that are temporary or seasonal will likely not qualify. Youll need to have medical evidence showing that youve attempted to improve your mental health with no avail and do not have any likelihood of making a strong recovery within one year to be approved.
How To Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits For Mental Health
If you or someone you love has a mental health impairment, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration offers disability benefits to people of all ages who are unable to work due to a serious illness. While it can be challenging to qualify with a mental health disorder, a staggering 19% of disability recipients do have a mental illness, so its more than possible to be approved.
You May Like: Can You Get Disability For Sciatica Pain
What Do I Say To Get Disability
STEP 5: Tell your doctor why you are considering or pursuing a disability claim. Then ask for your doctors opinion of your ability to work. As my doctor, what is your opinion on my ability to work? I dont get involved with disability matters You need a different kind of doctors opinion for disability.
The Social Security Administrations Mental Disorders Listings
If you have a disability that is listed in the SSAs Blue Book of disabilities, it may be easier to qualify for disability. While the core factor in determining whether you qualify for disability is your inability to work because of your conditions severity. Having a condition on this list is just one part of your qualification.
The SSA lists 11 broad categories of mental health disorders that may qualify for disability payments. Note that this information is not provided as legal advice medical, or mental health advice, but merely to help inform you about your potential qualifications.
Also Check: Filing For Disability In Georgia
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
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:
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:
Recommended Reading: How To Get 100 Percent Va Disability
What Medical Conditions Qualify For The Disability Tax Credit
The disability tax credit is different from other disability benefits plans. The above disability plans focus on how your medical condition affects your ability to work. The is not focused on your ability to work. Rather, it focuses on impairment with your daily activities.
Eligibility Criteria for the Disability Tax Credit
- be blind
- be in at least one basic activity of daily living
- be significantly restricted in two or more basic activities of daily living
- need life sustaining therapy
You will automatically qualify for the disability tax credit if your medical condition causes blindness or you to need life sustaining therapy.
To qualify as blind your visual acuity in both eyes must be 20/200 or less or your field of vision in both eyes is 20 degrees or less.
To qualify under the life sustaining therapy requirement, the therapy must be needed to support a vital function, and you must need it at least 3 times per week for an average of 14 hours per week.
The basic activities of daily living include the following:
- Mental functions necessary for everyday life
To qualify for the disability tax credit you must show that you are markedly restricted in one of these areas. A marked restriction means that you are unable to do the BADL or take an inordinate amount of time to do it. This restriction must be present 90% of the time.
Learn the secrets for winning disability benefits, even after a denial
How To Claim Your Disability Tax Credit
The National Benefit Authority has assisted thousands of Canadians in successfully claiming their disability credits. Our in-house team of experts can help determine your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, and walk you through your Canadian Disability Tax Credit application .
Well be alongside you every step of the way towards recovering your mental illness disability, helping you or a loved one find the support they need.
Read Also: How Much Does Disability Pay In California
What Kind Of Evidence Do I Need To Provide
Youve heard us say more than once that evidence is key. For mental disorders, Social Security divides evidence into two types:
- Evidence from medical sources such as test results from your doctor or other health care providers
- Evidence from non-medical sources such as statements from people who know personally know you.
Social Security will look for objective medical evidence, which includes symptoms health care providers are able to observe and record, like how you function during examinations. This also includes the nature, severity and frequency of any inpatient hospitalizations in your medical records.
Medical evidence also can include your diagnosis, your medical and psychological history, information about medications you are taking and information about therapy you are receiving.
Non-medical evidence can come from family, friends, neighbors, clergy, case managers, social workers or other people in your community.
They can report what theyve seen of your symptoms and how you function every day.
Social Security can also collect information from schools, training programs, your job and work-related activities about the way your disorder influences your functioning.
This includes school report cards and educational disability or psychological evaluations that appear in school records.
If its available, Social Security will also want to see evidence of how your condition has affected you over time.
Contact Paul Baker Law Office For Help With Your Ssd Benefits For Mental Health
If you have a mental health disorder that prevents you from working, you may be entitled to receive Social Security benefits. Let the experienced, compassionate attorneys at Paul Baker Law Office explain your legal options for seeking disability benefits for mental illness.
Whether you are preparing your disability claim for the first time, or appealing your case, we can help you take the next steps. Your best chance to receive the benefits you both need and deserve is to have Kentucky lawyers on your side who know what to do.
Contact us by phone, visit our Barbourville offices, or chat with us today. We are ready to start your case with a free consultation.
Don’t Miss: Disability Pay In California
How Long Can I Collect Long Term Disability Benefits For If I Suffer From A Mental Illness
Most policies, at the two-year mark, call for a change of definition. This means that after 24 months of disability payments have been made to you, your policy will switch to an any occupation definition of total disability. Any occupation, according to most policies, means that your mental illness is preventing you from engaging in any occupation or performing any type of work for compensation
If you have suffered an onset of a psychiatric disorder which causes you symptoms such as paranoid delusions hallucinations, paranoid behavior, disorganized behavior, catatonic behavior etc. there is no doubt that you will qualify for disability benefits to the change of definition not probably for life. Other disorders, such as major depression, addiction or other mental illness will require that you provide ongoing medical documentation to your insurance company to prove your disability, along with any other requirements that the policy calls for.
How Do You Prove Your Disability Case If You Have A Mental Condition Or Impairment
To prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment, you must have medical evidence. To establish that you suffer from a qualifying impairment, you will need to provide information, so the disability examiner can get your records from all caregivers who are familiar with your diagnosis and treatment. This could include:
- Your primary care physician
- Your psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist
- Your local hospital
- Other mental health facilities
- Other caregivers
The team from Berger and Green can ensure you provide all the necessary information so the examiner from the Office of Disability Determination Services can gain access to the medical evidence necessary to prove your impairment. Call us today at for your free case review and consultation.
Read Also: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
What To Know About Applying For Ssd With Mental Conditions
The claim examiner reviewing your application may not understand how mental conditions like yours affect your ability to work. In some cases, mental illness can make daily living tasks difficult to accomplish without help. But your symptoms arent the only thing the SSA looks at while reviewing your SSD claim. In order to qualify for disability benefits, you must meet all the following eligibility criteria:
- Cannot work at all for at least one year, specifically due to health problems
- Have current federal disability insurance coverage from working at least 5 in the last 10 years and paying FICA taxes
- Are at least 18, but younger than full retirement age on the date you apply for disability
- Do not currently receive some Social Security benefits
While its challenging, in general, to qualify for SSD benefits, people with mental conditions often have a harder time. Unlike a physical impairment where your limitations seem obvious, symptoms from mental disorders arent always visible to others. In fact, some people call health issues like these invisible conditions. In reality, listing every health problem you have on your disability claim increases your chances of approval. Thats because 62% of approved claims in recent years listed multiple health problems, including mental conditions.
What Medical Conditions Qualify For Disability Benefits
Any medical condition can qualify for disability benefits. Generally speaking, most disability benefits programs in Canada do not give benefits based on a medical diagnosis. Rather, they provide benefits based on the level of disability caused by the medical condition. So the focus will always be on the level of disability caused by your medical condition, rather than only the name of your medical condition or diagnosis. To qualify for benefits, you must show that the level of disability from your medical condition meets the eligibility criteria of the disability benefits plan in question.
Following is a list of common medical conditions that qualify for disability benefits. For each of these conditions we discuss the unique challenges you will face.
Don’t Miss: Do You Accrue Pto While On Short Term Disability
How To Get Disability For Mental Illness
You should research and obtain quotes from multiple carriers before deciding on disability insurance. This is especially true if youâre concerned about having a mental health disability. Insurers treat underwrite and treat mental health conditions differently.
A licensed, independent insurance agent can help you through the process. They can do the research and legwork, then offer recommendations.
From the time you submit an application, it may take four to six weeks before your policy is issued. In some cases, it could take longer.
Once youâve settled on a policy, you can apply for coverage. This involves filling out a short form. The application gathers personal, professional, and basic medical information.
You or your agent will submit the form to the insurer. You will also provide supporting documentation. This includes proof of employment and income. You will also have to authorize the release of medical records. Some insurers will also check driving records and your credit report. If so, you will have to authorize the release of those documents.
The insurer will schedule a paramedical exam. This will include an interview about your medical history. The examiner will record your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse, and collect blood and urine. The whole process takes about 30 minutes.