Can I qualify for disability benefits if I am suffering from a Mental Illness?
If you are suffering from a Mental Illness you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The Social Security Administration has specific language and conditions related to qualifying for benefits while experiencing symptoms of mental disorders such a depression and anxiety.
Qualifying for Social Security disability can be a complicated process.
If you have been injured or are in some way debilitated and cannot work, you may qualify for benefits. To determine if you qualify, contact a Social Security disability lawyer. In Texas, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) handles all disability claims. As a Texas resident, while your claims will go through DARS, the “Social Security Administration is responsible for making final decisions as to whether or not a person is eligible to receive any Social Security benefits,” according to the DARS website.
Social Security disability benefits are not solely for physical injuries.
A person may qualify because of mental disorders as well. “The evaluation of disability on the basis of mental disorders requires documentation of a medically determinable impairment(s), consideration of the degree of limitation such impairment(s) may impose on the individual’s ability to work, and consideration of whether these limitations have lasted or are expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months,” according to the federal Social Security Administration (SSA).
Contact a Social Security disability attorney at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and see if you can get disability benefits while suffering from mental illness. If you have been denied disability don’t give up!
Mental Illness is a medical or emotional issue that effects an individual’s mood, feeling, or ability to think and can disrupt their capacity to interact with others and function on a daily basis.
It can affect anyone in all walks of life regardless of race, sex, education or upbringing.
According to the MHA over 6 million Texas suffer from some form of mental illness that would benefit from treatment, 5 million of those adults and over 1 million children.
Almost 2 million Texans suffer from a serious or persistent illness such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression.
Living with a mental illness can serious impact your ability to maintain employment.
Inability to effectively interact with other people and the incapacity to sufficiently perform work duties can obstruct a person’s capability to sustain gainful employment.
There are nine types of mental disorders, according to the SSA, that qualify for disability payments. They are:
- Organic (such as memory impairment, a change in personality);
- Schizophrenic, paranoid, and other psychotic disorders;
- Affective disorders;
- Intellectual disability (“sub average general intellectual functioning,” according to the SSA);
- Anxiety-related disorders;
- Somatoform disorders;
- Personality disorders;
- Substance addition disorder;
- Autistic / pervasive development disorder.
The SSA will require applicants with any of these illnesses to prove inability to function with others or do routine tasks necessary for employment. The assistance of legal help can greatly enhance chances to acquire benefits. Most applicants are denied initially.
In order to qualify for Social Security Disability, you will need to satisfy a few specific requirements in two categories as determined by the Social Security Administration.
The first category is the Work Requirements which has two tests.
- The Duration of Work test. Whether you have worked long enough to be covered under SSDI.
- The Current Work Test. Whether you worked recently enough for the work to actually count toward coverage.
The second category is the Medical Eligibility Requirement.
- Are you working? Your disability must be “total”.
- Is your medical condition severe? Your disability must be “severe” enough to interfere with your ability to perform basic work-related activities, such as walking, sitting, and remembering.
- Is your medical condition on the List of Impairments? The SSA has a “List of Impairments” that automatically qualify as “severe” disabilities. Lyme Disease is not listed but this does not mean you cannot get disability, it means you must prove you cannot maintain employment due to your limitations.
- Can you do the work you did before? SSDI rules look at whether your medical condition prevents you from doing the work you did prior to developing the condition.
- Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do your prior work, an evaluation is made as to whether you can perform any other kind of work.
More details can be found on our Qualifying for Disability page.