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Can you qualify for SSD benefits for a mental disorder?

Millions of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness, but it has only been in recent years that this very important issue has begun to receive the attention it deserves. Medical professionals know that many types of mental illness are so debilitating that the person suffering from the illness does not have many options to lead a normal life. But, can someone qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a mental disorder?

The short answer is "yes." However, just like with any other type of disability it will be up to the applicant to provide the necessary medical documentation for their condition. This is sometimes harder to do for a mental disorder than it is for a physical disability, because there may not be any visible proof of the illness to begin with. But it can still be done.

The Social Security Administration recognizes that many people who suffer from a serious mental disability may not be able to work at all because of their condition. The agency keeps a comprehensive list of the diagnosable conditions that are commonly cited as the cause of a disability.

The medical treatment regimens for a mental health disease are very different from the treatment someone would receive for a physical injury or illness. There are no physical therapy sessions or pain management issues - instead a person diagnosed with a mental illness will usually need continuous treatment through prescription medication, as well as therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist. But the similarities are still there - the person is unable to work due to the condition, and as a result they need SSD benefits to make ends meet.

Source: ssa.gov, "Disability Evaluation Under Social Security," accessed on Sept. 27, 2014

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