Disability takes many forms. Some people are physically disabled, suffering from injuries or deformities. Other people have pain and discomfort. Many people suffer from dangerous or potentially deadly physical conditions. These problems can vary widely.
However, physical disabilities are only one type of disability. There are also mental disabilities. Mental health disabilities are disorders of the mind and the brain. These disabling conditions affect the way people think, feel and behave.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration (SSA) covers these types of disabilities as well. The SSA is a federal agency that provides many benefits to millions of people. In addition to receiving retirement and survivor’s benefits, Many people also receive Social Security Disability benefits for mental health disabilities. In some cases, family members of the disabled also receive benefits. Mental health benefits may include regular, monthly payments.
To receive these disability benefits from the SSA, a person must first apply. The SSA offers two types of social security disability (SSD). The first program is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The second program is Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
SSDI and SSI are different in important ways. SSDI is for disabled people who struggle to work full-time jobs. To qualify for SSDI, these individuals must have a work history marked by work credits. An applicant can receive a maximum of four work credits for every year.
SSI is different. SSI does not require a work history of work credits. Rather, SSI requires that applicants have limited financial means. To qualify, you cannot exceed making a certain level of income and assets. Although SSI is not solely for persons who are disabled, many applicants are disabled. To receive SSI Mental Disability benefits, you must prove your disabling condition. Both SSI and SSDI use the same definition of disability. Mental Health Disability is included in this definition.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will always look for total disability. In fact, the SSA only awards benefits for people with total disabilities. For a person to qualify, his or her disability must have lasted, or be expected to last, for at least 12 months, or be expected to lead to death The condition must also prevent the individual from working normally. If you can work a normal job, you probably won’t qualify. People with short-term or partial disabilities will be rejected. If your disability is not a total disability, you may not be eligible for disability benefits.
The SSA is very specific about Mental Health Disorders. The disorder or condition must be “medically determinable.” In other words, the condition is proven by a doctor.
The SSA may sometimes ask for more proof. This evidence is used to make your disability claim stronger. It is a good idea to have all of your information readily available to provide upon request. Gather as much evidence as you can from your primary care physician, other health specialists, and more. It is better to be over-prepared in your case
When you are ready to apply for disability benefits, you have options. You can Apply For Mental Disability online. You can also apply by phone. You can even visit your local social security office. If you choose to apply by phone, you can call 1-800-772-1213. However, there are important things you should know before applying. You may need to provide a lot of employment and work information. Again, you need to show that you are struggling to work. If you have the ability to take on employment and work normally, you likely will not qualify. Talk to your employer about receiving a copy of your employment records. It may be a good idea to request your W2s, pay stubs, and other proof of income and work capacity.
You can always go online to the SSA website. The SSA will tell you everything you need to have ready for your application.
Remember, having regular emotions and feelings are not the same as a mental disability. You may feel ‘depressed’ at times, but that does not necessarily mean you suffer from clinical depression. A mental disability is more severe and lasts longer than normal emotions that occur from one-time events.
The SSA may even require you to undergo a “consultative examination” (CE). This examination is often done by your own primary care doctor. Sometimes, the SSA will consult an outside medical expert.
Your medical doctor may choose not to perform the exam. Some physicians simply do not have the equipment or resources to properly diagnose, test or provide treatment the way the SSA requires. In other cases, your medical files may have conflicts or errors.
If your medical doctor does not provide certain medical records or have the capacity to meet certain criteria, the SSA will require an outside exam. Do not delay or avoid these important steps. A CE may provide the evidence you need to finally receive Mental Health Disability Benefits.
Your lawyer can counsel you in following the necessary steps. Many lawyers understand the SSA’s rules and demands, and the reasons applicants are denied. Some lawyers even worked for the SSA. Experienced legal professionals can help you through the entire application process. If need be, your attorney can also help you appeal a decision.
Typically, your mental health disability must match a listing in the SSA’s “blue book.” This book is used to show that you have a qualifying condition. In some cases, you may not meet a listing. In these cases, a disability attorney can help you prove that your condition ‘equals’ or is substantially similar to a listed condition. If your condition ‘equals,’ it is considered the same as a listed condition.
If you have a listed mental disability, you may be quickly approved for disability benefits. The SSA evaluates your mental disorder or disability based on the following 11 categories:
Each category of mental disorders has different criteria. Symptoms may vary. Different types of medical evidence may be necessary. Sometimes, you will have to undergo multiple tests, from multiple medical specialists. You may even need to hire employment disability experts to show how your condition affects your work capacity.
Don not be discouraged by this. If you are unsure, contact an experienced disability lawyer at Khattar Law, PC today. You can discuss your SSDI/ SSI for mental issues related concerns and obtain all of the information you need to apply for disability benefits. Our attorneys are ready to help.