If a mental illness is preventing you from working, you can get Social Security benefits if you meet the basic requirements for collecting SSDI. You must have an impairment that prevents you from working for at least 12 months, and you must have paid into the Social Security system for at least five of the last ten years. If you meet these basic criteria, the next step is to determine if your mental illness is considered a "qualifying disorder" by the SSA.
Which Mental Disorders Are Eligible for Social Security?
- Alzheimer's Disease
- Autism/Asperger's Syndrome
- Bipolar Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Intellectual Disorders
- Mood Disorders
- Neurocognitive Disorders
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Organic Mental Disorders
- Personality Disorders
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders
- Somatic Symptom Disorder
- Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments—also known as the Blue Book—includes a section for mental disorders which discusses the symptoms, severity, and duration of the illness required to qualify for disability benefits. In general, applicants must have a medically documented history of the disorder over a period of at least two years.
Each type of disorder will be evaluated based on a specific set of criteria, but you must be able to show that you have participated in ongoing treatment and that, despite trying to control symptoms, you are unable to function in a work environment.
Our Social Security Attorneys Help Disabled People Throughout Indiana
It’s never easy to get a Social Security disability application approved—especially the first time—but claims of mental illness are particularly difficult to prove. You will need a clear diagnosis from a medical professional, an assessment of your ability to perform work tasks, evidence of your commitment to treatment, and more. Our Social Security disability attorneys understand what you are going through. We have experience helping those experiencing mental illness successfully apply for Social Security disability. Contact our office for the help you need today.