What Qualifies as a Psychological or Emotional Disability?

Every year, millions of Americans are affected by psychological, emotional, and mental disorders. Many of our clients who have physical disabilities also begin to suffer from depression and anxiety because they can no longer do the things they used to do, and they are concerned about finances.

If you are having problems following and executing instructions, dealing with people, concentrating long enough to read, are sleeping in the daytime and experiencing sleeplessness at night, you may be suffering from anxiety or depression.

It can be very helpful to seek out a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor who can talk to you about the changes in your life. These professionals can also document your issues in a way that will help your case.

The following mental health disorders may qualify for SSD benefits:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Developmental Disabilities (Mental Retardation)
  • Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
  • Personality Disorders
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Schizophrenia
  • Somatoform Disorders

Social Security will ask the same five questions to determine if you are physically, mentally, psychologically, or emotionally disabled:

  • Are you currently working, and what is your income? If you are not earning wages or your income is below a certain level, you may be eligible.
  • Are your impairments “severe” – Do they interfere with any of your basic work functions?
  • How does your condition compare to those on SSA’s list of impairments? If it is comparable, you may qualify.
  • Can you return to your previous work? A “no” to this and the following question may mean you are eligible.
  • Are you able to do some other work? The SSA will consider your medical conditions, your level of education, your age, and skill levels when determining the answer to this question.

As with physical disabilities, claimants challenged with mental illness are statistically more successful in obtaining benefits when they retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney.

The attorney understands how debilitating these conditions are and knows what information to gather from your psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor in order to prove your case.

Note: We do recommend you avoid use of illegal drugs and alcohol if you are applying for SSD benefits due to mental health issues. Judges will sometimes assume that you could work if you were not using these chemical substances and may disregard your mental impairments because of their use.

Talk to us about whether your mental health conditions qualify you for SSD benefits. Call today for your first, Free Consultation: 1‐855-847-8969


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