SSD: Can I Receive Social Security Benefits for Mental Illness?

Across the United States, nearly 43.8 million Americans suffer from mental illness. This equates to roughly one in five adults in the United States. Mental disorders can be debilitating and go untreated far too often. Unfortunately, millions of American also struggle with mental health disorders on a day-to-day basis at the workplace. These struggles can affect performance and ultimately harm an individual’s professional growth.


In more serious cases, however, mental health disorders can make even the simplest tasks impossible to perform, let alone going to work. Fortunately, Social Security for Mental Illness exist; there are two potential options for individuals struggling with mental health troubles.


The government provides assistance in the form of Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you are in need of help, a Social Security Disability attorney can be a vital resource as you navigate the complex application process.


The Application Process


Applying for disability benefits for mental health disorders is often a fickle process. Rather than a physical ailment that can be seen and measured, mental health claims rely on the objectivity and knowledge of the medical examiner. Unfortunately, some examiners do not always grasp the nature and scope of mental illnesses.


Some examiners may be inclined to believe that a mental health condition has subsided if the effects of the disorder are not immediately apparent. However, the unfortunate reality is that many mental illnesses are cyclical in nature, and may still be present in an individual who is not actively suffering from the disability.


Due to the subjective nature of the mental illness evaluation process, few tests exist to measure the extent of someone’s illness accurately. This can often lead medical examiners to downplay the effects of mental disorders in claimants and succumb to the idea that applicants may not be forthcoming in their claims.


While hearing this may be disheartening, it is critical that you are completely forthcoming with your examiner and refrain from trying to “beat” the system in any way. Doing so will almost certainly have negative repercussions on the outcome of your claim.


Eligibility for Benefits


In order to be eligible to receive Social Security benefits for a mental health disorder, an individual must meet each of these three requirements:


  • The mental health condition must have persisted for at least one year or is expected to continue for one year.
  • The mental health condition must be diagnosed as life-threatening.
  • The condition must render the individual unable to work full time.


Meeting these requirements does not guarantee that your claim will be granted, the reality is that every individual is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and roughly 75% of initial applications for Social Security benefits are denied.


In order to improve your chances of approval, you should ensure that you are actively undergoing treatment administered by a specialist. This individual’s documentation of your claim can be extraordinarily valuable to your claim.


Types of Conditions That May Be Eligible


The following is a sampling of common conditions that may make an individual eligible to receive Social Security benefits:


  • Anxiety;
  • Bipolar Disorder;
  • Depression;
  • Sleep Disorders;
  • Mood Disorders;
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder;
  • Schizophrenia;
  • Psychotic Disorders.


It should be noted that even if you suffer from one of these conditions, you may not necessarily receive Social Security benefits. Your case will be reviewed, and the perceived severity of your condition will be noted. This makes it extremely important to have as much relevant medical documentation of your condition as possible.


Need Help?


If you are struggling with a mental health condition, it is important to understand that there are programs in place to assist you. If your condition is preventing you from working, you will likely qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration. Receiving the benefits you need is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you are in need, you should not hesitate to apply.


The process can be complex and confusing, but a Social Security Disability Attorney can guide you through the application process and provide you with all the knowledge relevant to the success of your claim.


Regardless of where you are in the claims process, it is important to understand that there is still hope. Even if your claim has been denied, you are still able to file an appeal to further plea your case. Here at, Krasno Krasno and Onwudinjo our SSD attorneys are more than happy to help you get the assistance you need. Contact us or call at 877-299-0779.

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