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Does mental illness qualify you for SSDI?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2022 | Social Security Disability

For a long time, society associated mental illness with laziness or insanity. Only in recent times have people begun to develop more understanding and awareness of anxiety, depression and other mental problems.

Even today, many people do not properly understand mental illness, so they find it difficult to see that it may cause as much difficulty for working individuals as physical ailments. While those with mental illness may find great success in the workforce, they may also find themselves unable to work entirely. In such cases, they may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, depending on numerous factors.

Medical diagnosis

The person applying for SSDI must have an official diagnosis from a medical professional; he or she cannot self-diagnose. A diagnosis accompanied by a detailed report with a prognosis, treatment plan, response to treatments and opinion of functional limits from a licensed psychiatrist helps, but does not guarantee that the individual will receive SSDI. A failure to seek any treatment or to take prescribed medicine in the past may count against your application.


Those reviewing SSDI applicants also look at what individuals are capable of doing. This includes if, with training, they may be able to find work in a different field.


The individual applying for SSDI must have the mental impairment for over a year and be able to prove it to qualify. He or she must also provide evidence that he or she worked for a certain amount of time. The mental illness must be severe enough to significantly impact the ability to work.

Individuals with mental illnesses may qualify to receive SSDI benefits depending on the seriousness of their condition.

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