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Social Security disability for mental health conditions

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2018 | Blog

Physical disabilities aren’t the only types that can qualify a person for Social Security disability benefits. It is also possible for people who have mental health disorders to qualify in some cases. It might prove to be a bit more difficult to accurately show how the condition impacts you since there aren’t always outward signs of the disability like what you might have with a physical one.

Having documented visits with a mental health professional and any other doctors who care for you can go a long way in these cases. Here are some points to remember about mental health conditions and Social Security disability:

Condition must impact you considerably

The mental health condition that you have must be severe enough that it impacts your ability to live life normally. Because disability benefits are based on your inability to work to support yourself, you will need to show that you are unable to function in a job setting. This might be due to uncontrolled movements or verbal outbursts.

Many different mental health conditions can qualify for benefits. Autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, depressive disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety are a sampling of the conditions listed by the Social Security Administration. Even conditions that aren’t specifically mentioned can still qualify if the resulting symptoms are severe enough. The Social Security Administration has guidelines published for these cases, so understanding those is imperative.

Presence of somatic symptom disorder

Somatic symptom disorder often comes into the picture when a person with a mental health condition applies for disability. This disorder involves the presence of physical symptoms that stem from the mental health condition.

The symptoms of this disorder are more severe than what is considered normal. While many people worry about catching an illness, others might be overly concerned with germs. They might even believe they have conditions that they don’t actually have just because they have symptoms that mimic it. A simple cough may be perceived as pneumonia for a person with this disorder.

Some examples of what can occur include being unable to interact with other people or an inability to maintain the pace necessary for work. An inability to concentrate or apply information provided are also possible. In order for somatic symptom disorder to be a qualifying component for a disability claim, it must be clearly documented. The documentation should include information about how it impacts employment.

There is a chance that your application will be denied at first. Make sure that you review the correspondence you receive for your case. It will contain important information about appeals and deadlines that are critical if your application is denied.

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