Christina Rivenbark & Associates ATTORNEYS AT LAW

Certain mental health conditions can qualify for Social Security

Social Security Disability benefits help protect those who have worked for a living and can no longer do so. Individuals with jobs pay into Social Security over their entire career. Many of them will never need to take advantage of Social Security Disability benefits, but for the tiny percentage that need them, these benefits can be a lifeline.

Social Security Disability benefits correlate to the amount of pay and time worked by an applicant. There are caps on how much someone can receive and what assets they can own. The benefits can truly help those with serious medical conditions that make working difficult or impossible.

Far too many Americans are under the inaccurate impression that only severe physical conditions qualify for Social Security Disability coverage. There is a broad range of mental health conditions that can also qualify for Social Security Disability.

If you have a mental health condition that makes it difficult for you to maintain a job, it may be possible to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.

Many different mental health conditions qualify

To help people determine whether they may receive Social Security Disability benefits, the Social Security Administration has a list on their website of conditions that could potentially help people qualify for benefits. Conditions such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder could potentially qualify an applicant for Social Security benefits.

It is important for individuals with mental health conditions to understand that just because their condition isn't listed doesn't mean they can't qualify.

On the other hand, simply having a diagnosis of a condition on the list does not inherently mean someone will receive benefits. There are other factors to consider beyond the diagnosis itself when determining whether applying for Social Security benefits makes sense.

The mental health condition must be severe and debilitating

In order for an application to receive approval from the Social Security Administration, medical documentation must show that the condition is serious, ongoing and debilitating. It should prevent you from doing your job, or create extreme pain or other issues if you attempt to work. Documentation from doctors, co-workers and mental health professionals can help you build a case for benefits.

Of course, the standard is somewhat unclear. Many times, applicants will need to appeal an initial denial by providing supporting evidence that shows their mental health condition truly does prevent them from continuing to work. The important thing to remember is that anyone denied benefits does have the right to appeal a denial.

If you have a mental health condition that is affecting your life and keeping you from performing your job properly, it may be time to look into whether you qualify for Social Security Disability.

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