Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Applying for disability for mental health conditions

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits are important for many individuals suffering from a disability that prevents them from working and being able to earn a living. It is important to keep in mind that in addition to disability benefits that may be available for physical medical conditions causing severe disability, SSD benefits may also be available for severe disabilities caused by a mental health condition.

As an alternative to Social Security disability benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may be available to disabled individuals who would otherwise not qualify for SSD benefits because they lack the necessary work history credits required by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. These are both important options to consider for individuals who are unable to work because of a disability.

Disability resulting from a mental health condition may be more challenging to prove than a disability suffered because of a physical medical condition but the SSA provides a list of mental health conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent the applicant from engaging in gainful activity and qualify for disability benefits. Mental health conditions ranging from autism disorders to depression are included on the list so it is helpful to be familiar with its contents. Even if the mental condition the disabled individual is suffering from is not on the list, it is still possible to establish disability as a result of a mental health condition through the applicant's medical records.

Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions can seem difficult to obtain but the greater familiarity the disabled individual has with the process, the less overwhelming the process may feel. Because the process involves certain requirements and evaluation measures, it is useful for applicants to be familiar with what steps to take and have knowledgeable guidance throughout the process.

Source:, "Mental Health Disability Claims," Accessed April 27, 2017

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