Mental illness is often overlooked because it is not as noticeable as other disabilities. However, while relatively unseen, your mental disorder may cause debilitating side effects that interfere with your ability to work.
Social security disability benefits also cover mental illness, but you must first provide ample evidence that shows you do have a medically-proven disorder.
Because SSD benefits cover a variety of illnesses and disabilities, eligibility is not based on your word alone. Collecting evidence and organizing it to create a timeline of your condition can provide notable support when you apply for SSD assistance. According to the Social Security Administration, evidence can come in many forms including the following:
- Testimony from your family and friends
- Longitudinal information about the development of your condition
- IEPs, Section 504 plans and other educational and career-related information
- General information about your situation
- Evidence from your doctor, psychiatrist, therapist or other medical professionals
When filling out your application for SSD benefits, read through the document in its entirety before filling it out. Carefully answer all of the questions and include all required information to give yourself a winning shot at approval.
If your condition improves to the point where you wish to return to work, you may still have the option of collecting benefits as you transition back into the workplace. Benefits may continue long-term for things like modifications that allow you to work despite your disability. However, you must inform the SSA of your intentions. Failure to do so could result in penalties and permanent suspension of your benefits.