Mental Health Disabilities

Lawyers for SSDI Claims in Chicago

No particular mental health symptoms or diagnosis guarantees that you will get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates mental health disabilities very similarly to how they evaluate physical impairments. Many people with mental health disabilities are initially rejected when they put in an SSDI application. If you suffer mental health disabilities and wish to seek benefits, a Chicago Social Security attorney may be able to help.

Mental Health Disabilities

When evaluating a claimant’s mental health disability, the SSA will look at the individual’s functional ability to work in spite of restrictions, instead of his or her specific impairments or diagnoses. In other words, the SSA won’t look at just your bipolar diagnosis, but your ability to work in spite of whatever limitations bipolar disorder places upon you.

Mental health disabilities issues can implicate many different categories of diagnoses. Some organic disorders that affect the nervous system include Alzheimer’s, dementia, and delirium. Psychotic disorders include paranoia and schizophrenia. Affective disorders like bipolar disorder and depression may result in disability. Developmental disabilities may qualify you for benefits. Both generalized anxiety and panic disorders can qualify you for SSDI if you can show they make it impossible to do your job. Other possible qualifying mental health disabilities include personality disorders, substance addiction disorders, somatoform disorders, and pervasive developmental disorders. However, any mental health disorder that makes it impossible for you to perform gainful work such that you can’t earn money could qualify you for SSDI benefits.

Functional Capacity

If you seek SSDI benefits on the basis of your mental health impairment, it will be evaluated using a lot of different information. This can include medical evidence and information about your daily living activities, and your ability to work in work environments and social settings. The SSA will also look at your capacity to shop, pay bills, cook, take care of your personal hygiene, and perform household chores or any other activities related to living in the world. Your ability to function socially will also be considered when determining how severe your mental impairment is, and this includes your ability to interact with family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and the public at large. If someone isn’t able to interact well with others, the SSA will perceive a significant impairment to staying employed. A seasoned Social Security attorney can help you navigate the SSA’s evaluation of your impairment.

Listed Mental Impairments

The SSA has a disability handbook, which is known informally as the bluebook. The bluebook includes criteria for different mental health conditions to be considered disabilities. These conditions include autism, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, somatoform disorders, affective disorders, and substance addiction disorders. If your condition meets the requirements of the listed disorders, you’ll automatically get disability benefits. These listings require that your symptoms restrict your daily living activities or ability to function socially or get tasks done. In other words, even if you were diagnosed with, for example, schizophrenia and showed significant symptoms, you wouldn’t be able to get SSDI benefits unless these symptoms prevented you from getting along with others or performing routine tasks.

To get SSDI benefits, your mental health condition needs to be diagnosed by a physician and satisfy certain criteria. The criteria include that it stops you from doing work you’ve performed until now, it renders you unable to reasonably be trained for another kind of available work, and that the disorder lasts at least a year and maybe more.

Mental condition diagnoses can be subjective. It can be wise to keep a contemporaneous journal describing the ways in which your mental health condition impacts your daily living or affects your ability to do your job. You should note things like how affected you are when trying to complete household tasks.

Consult a Knowledgeable SSDI Attorneys Serving Chicago

If you are concerned about obtaining SSDI benefits for mental health disabilities in Chicago, it is advisable to talk to a skillful SSDI lawyer. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson & Bareck, we represent disabled claimants in Quincy, Rockford, Aurora, and Champaign, as well as Kane, Winnebago, Cook, Adams, and Sangamon Counties. Contact us at 800-444-1525 or at 312-263-6330 or via our online form.