SSD for Mental Health – Lawyer in Mobile, Alabama
Most people think a disability will not happen to them. According to government statistics, one of every four 20-year-olds will suffer a disability before the age of 67. Because of those high odds, it is important to understand how the government defines a mental disability and what options are available for mental health issues through Social Security benefits.
With every paycheck, Americans contribute to something called Social Security. Originated in 1935 under then-President Roosevelt, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a safety net for workers after they retire. It is not intended to fully support your retirement years, but to provide a supplement for the next 10, 20, or 30 years you are retired.
The SSA also provides a safety net for Americans who become disabled, including those with mental disabilities. These programs include Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
Defining Mental Health Issues
The SSA relies on something called its “Blue Book” to define mental health disorders. The public can determine which category they might fit into including:
* Schizophrenia spectrum, paranoia, and psychotic disorders
* Neurocognitive disorders
* Depressive, bipolar disorder
* Intellectual Disorder
* Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder
* Autism spectrum disorder
* Personality and impulse control disorders
* Eating disorders
* Trauma and stressor-related disorders
* Somatic symptoms
* Neurodevelopmental disorders
The Blue Book explains the illnesses that fall into each category.
It’s is important to understand that when you are evaluated for benefits by an SSA representative, they are not a doctor or therapist. Therefore, it is vitally important that you completely chronicle your mental health illness with as much detail and substantiation as possible.
If there is a recommendation for medication and/or therapy, you must be fully compliant and follow those professional recommendations. Ultimately, you will have to prove that you are not able to be gainfully employed and therefore need to receive Social Security Disability Benefits for mental health.
What is a Mental RFC?
You may wonder if your mental health disability is severe enough to prevent you from holding a job. For example, bipolar disorder will come and go. You are stable today but may not be tomorrow. You must be able to show that your mental issue means you cannot be regularly employed.
The SSA will want to know if you can follow instructions from your boss. Can you show up to work daily? Are you able to deal with the public? Can you function independently, focus, and complete tasks?
If not, these are the conditions that also would benefit from receiving SSDI or SSI benefits.
An individual who has a mental health impairment that is not severe enough to be considered completely disabled may be able to engage in some work-related activities. Your doctor can fill out a residual functional capacity form (RFC) that will help you obtain a Social Security Disability claim.
The RFC will show you have limitations to your ability to hold a job and fully complete the tasks involved with that job. The RFC is considered in addition to the documentation you submit concerning your mental health issues.
If approved, you could be eligible for a medical-vocational allowance which will be based on your earnings, your skill, and mental limitations.
Applying for Benefits
Contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday or visit your local Social Security office after making an appointment.
You will be scheduled for an interview at which time you will need to have all of your documentation to substantiate your mental health issue. The SSA will determine whether or not you should be awarded benefits. If you are denied, you can file an appeal. Do not be surprised if that happens. It often does.
Contact an Experienced SSA Benefits Attorney
To increase your chances of receiving benefits after your initial appointment, hiring an experienced SSA attorney will make it much more likely to receive your SSDI benefits the first time.
Over the years, Byron A. Lassiter & Associates has helped numerous individuals collect the disability benefits they deserve from the Social Security Administration. We understand the system and how to navigate its complexities to put you in the best position to receive the benefits you deserve.
Call our office today at 251-478-5297 for a free consultation, or send us a message through our online contact form.
SSA- Disability benefits