Getting Disability Benefits for Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, which is also commonly known as manic depressive disorder, is a condition in which an individual experiences cyclic mania or extreme euphoria and periods of extreme depression. This type of mental illness is considered to fall within a category of various mood disorders. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that is common in both men and women. 

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Bipolar Disorder?

A significant percentage of people who experience bipolar disorder may have the opportunity to qualify for disability for bipolar disorder. The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers bipolar disorder to be a disability when a person meets the medical and work requirements as stated within the SSA’s Blue Book. If a person meets the eligibility requirements for a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, they would also need to meet the work and medical requirements set forth by the SSA. If the individual is seeking disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the applicant also has to meet specific work requirements relating to how many work credits they would have had to earn while they were employed. 

The calculation of the work credits is done based on an applicant’s age and for how much time that individual has worked. On average, a person needs approximately 40 credits to attain disability benefits, out of which 20 of those credits need to have been earned during the past 10 years before the individual became disabled. If a person meets the work requirements, then the SSA will consider the medical requirements next. An applicant must also meet the medical requirements that the SSA specifies with regard to qualifying for disability benefits relating to bipolar disorder. 

The medical evidence that an applicant presents and their diagnosis are required to match the SSA’s blue book criteria so the individual could qualify to receive bipolar disability benefits. The SSA considers bipolar disorder to be a disability. Therefore, if a person meets the listing criteria as specified by the SSA along with the required work and medical requirements, then the SSA would consider that person to be disabled. 

Once the SSA categorizes a person as officially disabled and the individual has the required work credits, then the person can earn the SSDI benefits they deserve for their bipolar disorder.

Is Bipolar Disorder a Disability?

Many people with bipolar disorder have a hard time finding or holding employment. Some of the reasons for this may include a lack of focus, a need for frequent breaks, strong emotional responses that prevent them from performing well at work, and frequent mood swings when under stress.

Many people with mental disabilities are eligible to receive disability benefits, such as SSDI or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If a person is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, they should consider applying for benefits.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disability

Some of the signs of this severe mental illness may include anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, irritability, fatigue, lack of motivation, persistent feelings of hopelessness, isolation, chronic pain, self-loathing, morbid suicidal ideation, and depersonalization. In extreme cases, people who suffer from this disorder become psychotic. The signs of bipolar disorder often arise sometime between childhood and late adolescence. 

Bipolar Disability

Getting disability benefits is not an easy task. Therefore, it is suggested to seek guidance from a knowledgeable Los Angeles disability lawyer who has significant experience handling disability cases that are similar to yours. Generally, a diagnosis of bipolar disorder will be based on various factors, such as a person’s experiences, behavioral abnormalities, and feedback given by those closest to the individual. 

Along with these indications, other secondary symptoms may be observed by psychiatrists, social workers, nurses, or other healthcare workers who are involved in the patient’s medical assessment.

Bipolar disorder is usually treated on an outpatient basis. However, inpatient treatment may be considered if patients potentially pose a serious threat to themselves or other individuals around them.  A preliminary diagnosis may be reached after a standard medical examination.

How Can You Attain Disability Benefits for Bipolar?

If an individual’s bipolar disorder is long-lasting and affects their capability to function in a work environment, then that person may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Any person who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and meets all of the criteria specified in the SSA’s blue book may be eligible to receive the disability benefits they need. 

A person with bipolar disorder may also be considered eligible for certain disability benefits if they qualify for medical-vocational disability support, which is dependent on an individual’s education, age, and residual functional capability. If you want to know more about whether you may qualify for disability benefits given your condition, you can contact a disability attorney for additional information.

According to SSA, a claimant who is suffering from bipolar disorder would need to have a prior history of experiencing symptomatic depressive syndromes, manic episodes, or an amalgamation of both, in order to qualify for benefits. In addition, the applicant who has bipolar disorder would also have to exhibit two of the following limitations to qualify, such as constraints in performing daily activities, not being able to communicate with other people in a normal manner, or experiencing persistent episodes of decompensation that last for an unlimited amount of time.

If a disabled person does not meet the above-stated criteria, then they may qualify for disability benefits as stated in the blue book if they have a prior medical history of at least two years of experiencing any of the chronic affective disorders, which include bipolar disorder. 

In addition, if a person is incapable of functioning outside the home for any duration of time, then there may be a good chance that they could qualify for SSDI or SSI. However, the complete process of applying for Social Security disability benefits can be lengthy and time-consuming. 

This is why hiring an experienced lawyer to stand by your side can make the intimidating process a bit simpler. A lawyer can also represent you in court and will present your case in such a way that would best support your disability claim.

How Can an Attorney Find a Solution for Your Bipolar Disability?

Because bipolar disorder is specifically mentioned in the SSA’s manual of impairment listings, an individual can secure the disability benefits they deserve by meeting all of the specified work and medical requirements. However, many of the disability claims submitted by eligible applicants are denied or rejected in the first instance. This is why having an experienced lawyer on your side can prove to be beneficial for your case.

A person who is applying for disability benefits may face a long, arduous process ahead of them. However, if your SSDI or SSI application is denied, you can file a disability appeal to pursue the benefits you need. In such cases, a skilled Social Security disability attorney can provide invaluable guidance and help during the overall application process and any subsequent appeals.