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Why was my SSD claim for a mental condition denied?

Filing an SSD claim is hard enough. The application, the process, the waiting, the frequent denials and the subsequent appeals process – it’s all lengthy and frustrating. So many claims get denied the first time around prolonging this painful process. Perhaps the most difficult type of claim to file is one based on a mental health condition. So why is it that SSD claims for mental conditions are so often denied?

Like any other type of SSD claim, filing a claim for mental illness requires that you make a showing that your mental condition prevents you from securing gainful employment for at least one year. Making this preliminary showing can be difficult, particularly in cases of a mental health condition. There are several common reasons for the SSA to deny these types of claims.

First, failure to provide a detailed and specific diagnosis can be detrimental. The SSA will not to see a clear psychiatric diagnosis, from a specialist, in your treatment records. Just showing that you’ve received regular psychiatric treatment may not be enough without this specified diagnosis. Likewise, a diagnosis alone, without demonstrating an ongoing treatment history may also be insufficient. The SSA will want to see your treatment records, including what treatments you’ve tried, the outcomes of those treatments and the impact on your ability to work.

Finally, a key piece of information will be the determination as to whether or not you are employable. The question asked by the SSA is whether or not you are able to do any type of job, not just whether you are able to continue in your previous job. It is important to have the appropriate medical records and documentation indicating that you are not able to perform any type of work, not just that you lost your previous job.

With all of this in mind, proving total disability due to a mental condition is notoriously difficult, and if you are looking to file an SSD claim for a mental condition you should do so with the assistance of an experienced attorney.

Source:, 3 Reasons the SSA will Deny Your Mental Illness Claim, accessed March 15, 2018.


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