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Are Mental Health Conditions Covered By SSDI?

Millions of people in the United States are affected by mental illness every day. Many suffer in silence, and their outward appearance doesn’t show how they feel inside, especially at work. At Nappa, Monterosso, & Poznansky, LLP, our team understands that the stigma surrounding mental health issues can prevent people from getting help. Our Social Security Disability lawyers in the greater NYC area offer compassionate yet tenacious legal support and fight to help our clients pursue the SSDI benefits they need.

What Is Social Security Disability Insurance?

SSDI is a government-run program designed to help people who can’t work due to a physical or mental disability. If you suffer from a mental condition that’s recognized by the SSA and it prevents you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. You must also have enough Social Security work credits, which are accumulated by earning income and paying Social Security taxes.

Types of Mental Health Conditions That Qualify for SSDI

To qualify for SSDI benefits due to a mental health condition, you must meet specific criteria established by the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book.” Common mental health conditions that may qualify you for SSDI eligibility include:

  • Major depressive disorder – If you suffer from severe and persistent depression that significantly impairs your ability to function, you may want to contact an SSDI attorney who can help with your Social Security Disability application.
  • Bipolar disorder – This mental health condition involves mood swings, including episodes of depression and mania, which can make it difficult to hold down a job.
  • Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders – Symptoms of psychotic disorders include delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and other severe impairments to a person’s perception of reality.
  • Anxiety disorders – Conditions like generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may qualify you for SSDI if they are so severe that they prevent you from working.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Intrusive thoughts, anxiety, mood swings, and increased reactivity are common symptoms of PTSD.
  • Autism spectrum disorders – People with autism may have significant difficulties with social interactions, communication, and repetitive behaviors. SSDI may be an option if these issues keep them from working.
  • Borderline personality disorder – Self-destructive behaviors, suicidal ideation, extreme anger, and mood changes can render someone with BPD unable to work.
  • Intellectual disabilities – There are a range of intellectual disabilities that may impact a person’s SSDI eligibility.
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders – People with conditions such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may qualify for Social Security Disability if the symptoms are very severe and limiting.
  • Cognitive impairments – Conditions that lead to significant cognitive impairments, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, or other forms of dementia may qualify for SSDI.

Qualifying for SSDI

To be eligible for SSDI, your mental health condition must meet the requirements outlined in the SSA Blue Book. However, if your condition does not meet the criteria in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for SSDI if you can demonstrate that your mental health impairment causes significant functional limitations that prevent you from working.

In this type of case, it’s vital to consult a Social Security Disability lawyer. They can tell you what type of medical evidence and documentation you’ll need from healthcare professionals to show the severity of your mental health symptoms and their impact on your ability to work.

In addition to medical requirements, you must have a work history and enough work credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance. Work credits are earned through paying Social Security taxes. The exact number required for SSDI eligibility depends on your age at the time of disability.

Whether you are thinking about applying for Social Security Disability benefits or you’re dealing with an SSDI denial, seeking the advice and assistance of an attorney can help make the process less stressful and increase your chances of obtaining the benefits you need.

Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney in the Greater NYC Area

At Nappa, Monterosso & Poznansky, LLP, our attorneys understand how difficult it can be to live with a mental health condition. We’re here to take some of the weight off your shoulders. We serve clients in Staten Island and throughout the greater NYC area. Attorney and partner Rolando Cubela is proud to assist our Spanish-speaking clients. Call us at 718-273-9000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in the greater New York City area.

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