Various mental conditions qualify for SSDI benefits, but the specifics of your unique case are vital to getting the SSDI benefits you need and deserve. Social Security will delve into all aspects of your relevant medical and non-medical evidence to evaluate your mental disorder.

Specifics involved in your mental disorder, including the symptoms, any reported limitations in your activities, and any help and support you must receive to function as normally as possible, will be used to determine your eligibility.

Many mental disorders are diagnosed today and vary widely in severity and symptomology. The SSA decides whether your mental illness qualifies you for SSDI benefits, but you can always file an appeal if denied.

The SSA’s “Blue Book” includes a list of 11 diverse types of mental disorders that can qualify for SSDI.

The following are some of the mental disorders that the SSA recognizes as being coverable:

  • Psychotic disorders – These mental disorders include hallucinations, catatonic behavior, delusions, and a significant functional decline. Examples are Schizophrenia, delusional disorder, and more.
  • Anxiety Disorders – If you suffer from excessive anxiety, fear, and apprehension, these are all applicable symptoms. Other symptoms of anxiety disorders include sleeping issues, panic attacks, and muscle tension. Examples of diagnosis would be a panic disorder, agoraphobia, and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
  • Depressive disorders – Symptoms of these disorders include loss of interest in daily life, mood swings, and clinically significant changes in sleep, weight, appetite, or energy. Diagnosis examples are bipolar disorder, depressive disorders, and cyclothymic disorders.
  • Eating disorders – These mental disorders involve disturbances in your eating behavior. Common symptomologies include preoccupation with body weight, binge eating, food restriction, and self-induced vomiting. Diagnoses may be anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and restrictive food disorder.

These mental disorders may lead to other related medical issues, such as dental problems, irritability, and cardiac abnormalities.

  • Trauma disorders – Many of the diagnoses in this category begin during your childhood or adolescence, though they may not be diagnosed until much later. They include learning disorders, Tourette syndrome, and borderline intellectual functioning.

The list of mental disorders covered by SSDI is long and grows longer each year. If you feel that your mental disability should cover you for receiving SSDI benefits, the wise thing to do is to consult with a professional San Diego SSDI attorney. They will do a case evaluation and guide you in the best way possible to obtain the benefits you are entitled to.

What Should I Do To Apply For SSDI Benefits For My Mental Disorder?

First, you and your San Diego SSDI lawyer must prove that your mental disorder qualifies for SSDI benefits. Your initial application must be complete and include comprehensive medical records of diagnosis and treatment for your mental illness. Also, you need to be able to prove that your mental disorder symptoms are severe enough that they prevented you from working for at least 12 consecutive months. 

It’s important to note that SSDI applications for any mental disorder are highly complicated. You are often denied because you have made errors in your paperwork or excluded vital medical documentation.

By working with a qualified, professional, and thorough San Diego SSDI attorney, you will ensure that your application is correct the first time and that all your legal bases are covered.

Your law team is experienced in filling out these extensive and confusing applications, gathering adequate documentation, and appealing your claim if denied.

What If My Mental Disorder Doesn’t Match With the SSA’s “List of Disorders?”

This is an area where the advice and guidance of your professional SSDI lawyer will be invaluable.

If your condition doesn’t quite meet the listing requirements or types of conditions, the SSA will review your symptoms to determine your “mental residual functional capacity” (MRFC).

Your “MRFC” is the most you can do despite the mental (or emotional) limitations you suffer from. If the SSA decides you don’t have the MRFC to work on a standard and consistent basis (full-time), you may still be approved for benefits.

Your SSDI lawyer will leave no stone unturned to determine your mental capacity and ensure that the SSA looks at all your medical records and any opinions submitted by your psychiatrist or psychologist. Your doctor specializing in mental conditions will help prepare your MRFC report for you, and your law team will present it to the SSA in the most professional and positive way possible. So, you may still be able to obtain the SSDI benefits you deserve.

What Are the Main Reasons for Denial of SSDI Benefits For My Mental Condition?

Obtaining SSDI benefits for a mental condition presents some unique obstacles in getting your benefits approved.

Some of the main reasons for your possible denial may seem relatively straightforward, but your local San Diego SSDI attorney knows precisely how to avoid them and how to appeal if you are denied.

Simply put, a lack of mental health treatment (and the related medical documentation) related to your mental illness, not taking medication, and having an episodic mental illness are the most frequent reasons for having your claim denied. 

Some examples of reasons for your denial are:

  • Poor treatment notes – Many mental health providers (psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.) often keep poor notes. At times, these notes are too abbreviated to collect valuable information, and others are illegible and impossible to read. 
  • No record of your treatment for mental illness – Numerous times, SSDI claims are filed for mental illness but provide no history of treatment for the condition listed on the application. This is especially true regarding SSDI claims that include depression.
  • Noncompliance with a course of treatment or use of prescribed medications – Your mental health provider often recommends a course of treatment, and such recommendations are noted in your medical records. However, these identical records will note that you refused to comply with treatment or didn’t take the ordered prescription medication.

These are only a few samples, but with the help of your San Diego SSDI attorney, you will be helped to avoid these “pitfalls” before they happen, and thus substantially increase your chances of getting your SSDI benefits approved.

I Want to Apply For SSDI Benefits For a Mental Condition; How Should I Proceed?

Whether we wish to accept it or not, applying for SSDI benefits for mental conditions does present legal challenges. However, that being known, it’s wise to meet with a qualified, professional, and experienced San Diego SSDI attorney and obtain a complete and thorough evaluation of your case before you apply.

Each case of this type is unique, and by obtaining the guidance of an SSDI law team, you will enormously improve your chances of getting approved for SSDI benefits the first time you apply. Don’t leave this up to chance, as your well-being and your family’s future financial and emotional life may depend on it.