An Overview of SSDI & Mental Illness

If you are facing a physical disability, it often easier to collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) than if you are suffering from mental illness.  Generally speaking, there are several reasons for this discrepancy.  First, it is hard for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to assess the symptoms associated with the mental disorder.  Moreover, it can also be challenging to determine the severity of the illness in an objective manner.  Regardless of the circumstances, it is crucial to consult with an experienced Kansas City Social Security Disability attorney who can help you determine the full scope of your legal options.

If you are considering filing for SSDI due to a debilitating mental illness, it is important to understand that SSA claims examiners are not licensed psychiatrists or mental health professionals.  As such, they are not educated as to the range of limitations caused by certain types of mental conditions.  For example, many claims examiners simply fail to understand the “cyclical” nature of certain mental disorders, such as depression and bipolar disorder.  In other words, people diagnosed with these conditions may experience improvement over time but they can easily relapse at a moment’s notice.  Moreover, other examiners are biased against those who file for disability for certain types of mental illness, making it more likely to be denied.

When evaluating a specific mental condition, an examiner will first consult the SSA’s official list of qualifying conditions, commonly referred to as the “blue book”.  These contain certain types of medical conditions that the SSA considers to be disabling to the point where someone is incapable of working.  The blue book’s list of SSDI-eligible mental impairments includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Down’s syndrome
  • Autism
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Substance abuse disorders
  • Schizophrenia

In the event that you are suffering from a condition that is not listed in the blue book or meets the severity requirements thereunder, you can still file for SSDI.  You need to demonstrate that your disability has lasted for a minimum of a year and also, that it prevents you from working.  Regardless of the circumstances, it is important to have an experienced SSDI benefits attorney to help you.  Since establishing eligibility for SSDI benefits can be a challenging process, having a seasoned attorney to fight for your rights can me a positive difference in your case.

At the Sanger Law Office, we provide top-tier SSDI representation        

For more information pertaining about your SSDI options, give the Sanger Law Office a call now at 785-979-4353.  Ms. Sanger will take the time to evaluate your case and help you maximize your chances of getting SSDI benefits.  The Sanger Law Office is conveniently located in Lawrence, KS and represents clients in both Kansas and Missouri who are facing all types of SSDI issues.



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