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Claiming benefits for mental health disabilities

Suffering from mental health disorders is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of. It is important to seek help if you think that you may be suffering from a mental health condition, and in this case you may also qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). This blog gives an overview of what types of benefits the SSA offers and which types of mental disabilities are covered.

Which mental disabilities does the SSA cover?

The SSA has a list of disorders that are recognized as disabling and means that a person that suffers from one has a limited capacity to do work efficiently. These include:

  • Schizophrenia
  • Autistic disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder

Even if your disability is not listed, you can still pursue disability benefits.

How is a mental disability assessed by the SSA?

Mental disorders are not easy to assess when compared to physical disabilities. However, the SSA will require you to complete a medical consultative exam. It will be conducted by an independent physician. They will then send a written report to you Disability Determination Service (DDS) within 10 days.

If the assessment finds that your condition affects your ability to perform substantial gainful activity. The SSA will then use other evidence to determine if your residual functionality capacity is "markedly limited".

It you are having problems gaining access to disability benefits or you want advice to help a family member or friend, it is important to always seek trusted legal guidance.

Source: Findlaw, "Mental health disability claims," accessed July 14, 2017

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