Jonathan H. Poznansky, Attorney at Law

Social Security disability and bipolar disorder

Impeccable mental health is something that most of us take for granted. Yet, many New Yorkers struggle with their day-to-day lives on account of a mental health condition. These individuals can find their social and professional lives severely affected, and, as a result, many of them struggle to live what most people would consider a normal life. When their condition renders them unable to work, these individuals may find it hard to make ends meet, threatening to send them into destitution.

Fortunately, the Social Security disability system can provide many of these individuals with the compensation to help them cover their medical expenses and living wages. However, before benefits can be obtained, disabled individuals must convince the Social Security Administration that they meet the definition of disability as defined for their particular medical condition.

For example, bipolar disorder, which is suffered by many New Yorkers, can qualify a person for SSD benefits in one of three ways. First, an individual can show that he or she has a combination of symptoms, which may include depression, trouble with sleeping and eating, decreased energy and a sense of worthlessness. In addition, though, a claimant must show that those symptoms affect his or her ability to remember or understand information or manage him or herself, amongst other daily activities.

The second way to claim benefits for bipolar disorder is to show that one suffers from a combination of distractibility, participation in dangerous activities without recognition of the risks involved and decreased sleep, amongst others. Again, under this prong, an individual must show that these characteristics affect certain aspects of his or her daily functioning. The third way to get benefits for this condition is to show that the condition is serious and persistent, evidenced by documentation of medical treatment and an inability to adapt to environmental changes.

This is a very basic overview of how an individual can qualify for benefits under this prong. Those who want to learn more about how to pursue an initial SSD claim or pursue an initial denial should consider contacting a qualified legal professional.

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