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How does mental health factor into SSDI eligibility?

On Behalf of | Oct 30, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance is a safety net for individuals who are unable to work due to severe impairments. While physical disabilities are often what come to mind, mental health issues are equally important when determining eligibility for SSDI benefits.

Knowing exactly how mental health can factor into SSDI eligibility can help you remain informed as you apply for benefits.

Meeting the basic SSDI criteria

First and foremost, applicants must meet the basic criteria for SSDI eligibility. This includes having a qualifying work history. If you contributed to Social Security through your previous employment, you are already on the right track.

Proving the severity of mental health conditions

To qualify for SSDI on the basis of mental health, individuals must demonstrate that their condition is severe. This means providing comprehensive medical documentation that establishes the severity of the condition. Common mental health conditions considered for SSDI include depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and others.

Duration of impairment

Another crucial factor in SSDI eligibility is the duration of your impairment. For mental health issues, this typically means that your condition will last for at least 12 months or result in death. Temporary or short-term mental health issues may not qualify.

Limitations on daily living

The Social Security Administration also looks at how your condition affects your ability to perform daily tasks. This includes your capacity to maintain employment, complete personal care routines and interact with others. Severe limitations in these areas can strengthen your case.

Sources indicate that one in five SSDI beneficiaries receive benefits due to a mood, psychiatric or other mental disability. Claiming the benefits you deserve for a mental health diagnosis can make all the difference for you and your family.


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