Most commonly when we think of applying for SSD benefits we think of individuals who have suffered debilitating injuries and have disabling physical conditions. However, there is much more so SSD benefits then just physical disabilities. You may be eligible for SSD if you suffer from a mental health condition as well.
Any SSD claim can present a challenging and lengthy process as your claim works its way through the system of evaluations and appeals. However, presenting an SSD claim for a mental illness can be even more challenging at times. Where physical disabilities can generally be objectively diagnosed and documented, mental health conditions are often more subjective diagnoses and may be harder to document and prove to those reviewing your claim.
While the actual process of filing an SSD claim for a mental illness does not differ significantly you may face an even greater likelihood that your claim will be denied the first time around. It is often times unclear what exactly the requirements are for SSD claim of mental illness, and some diagnoses such as schizophrenia may be far more likely to result in an accepted claim then other diagnoses such as bipolar disorder or depression. These types of claims often require substantial evidence that your condition does not allow you to find and maintain gainful employment.
It is also important to note that being in compliance with the advice and treatment of your medical professionals and psychologists is critical in SSD claims for mental illness, as you could be disqualified from your SSD benefits or your claim could be delayed for refusing to follow your doctors suggested treatment plan.
Given the complexity of SSD claims generally, as well as the added challenges often presented by SSD claims for mental illness, it is crucial to consult with an experienced attorney to represent you throughout the claims process in order to provide you with the best chance of success for your claim.
Source: Disability Benefits Center, “How to Apply for Disability with a Mental Illness,” accessed Jan. 2, 2018.