If you’ve been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, you’re not alone. Nearly one in five adult men and women in the U.S. are living with a mental illness. Many are able to lead normal lives – but others experience symptoms so severe they are unable to perform a job and support themselves. This post will look at how people like you may qualify for Social Security disability if you suffer from mental illness.
Mental Illness Disability Lawyer
If you have a disabling mental illness, an experienced attorney can help you achieve Social Security Disability benefits. The Nebraska Social Security Disability lawyer at Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O. will be an advocate for your rights to receive disability benefits if you cannot work. Our team works directly with physicians and other healthcare providers to ensure you are on the path to a successful disability claim.
Call us today at 402-234-8787. You also can share your story here.
Mental Health Disorders Can Qualify for Disability
If you are unable to work and earn a living because of a mental health disorder, you will need to gather hard medical evidence to support your claim and to show the severity of your condition. The specific requirements to be approved for disability benefits with a mental health disorder depend on the specific mental health condition that you have and how it affects you.
The SSA uses a medical guide – the Blue Book – to determine if someone qualifies for disability. Section 12.00 covers mental health disorders, including which conditions can qualify for disability benefits as well as what criteria must be met for approval. There are several categories of mental conditions included in the guide, including affective disorders, anxiety disorders, autism and related disorders, mental retardation, organic mental disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, substance addiction, and schizophrenia, paranoia, and psychotic disorders.
Each mental illness is evaluated based on its own set of criteria. To qualify for benefits for that specific condition per the listing, you must provide evidence that shows you meet the criteria or that your disabling conditions all together equal those listed criteria or otherwise they hinder you from engaging in gainful activity of any kind. Regardless of your specific mental disorder, you must provide documentation showing that you are adhering to your physician’s plan of treatment and continue to seek medical treatment throughout the claims process.
For example, if you have an anxiety disorder, your medical evidence must show that you suffer from at least three of the following symptoms: persistent anxiety with appropriate symptoms, constant irrational fear, recurring compulsions and obsessions leading to significant distress, or recurring, or unpredictable panic attacks. Symptoms must be present at least once a week.
Using A Medical Vocational Allowance
If you are unable to work and you cannot meet the specific criteria of a Blue Book listing, you may still qualify using a medical vocational allowance. It takes your age, work history, transferable skills, educational background, and medical conditions into consideration. A residual functional capacity (RFC) form completed by your physician, which details all restrictions and limitations, so the disability examiner can determine if you are able to work and if you can work, what kind of work you can do.
Without hard medical evidence, a disability claim cannot succeed. Your disability lawyer will help you gather the supporting evidence and documentation that your claim needs to succeed. Studies have shown that claimants represented by lawyers are much more likely to have their disability claim approved and be awarded monthly benefits. Call today for an initial consultation.
Disability Claims More Likely Approved With An Attorney’s Help
If you are unable to work because of a mental health condition, you should consult with a disability attorney. Watson & Carroll, P.C., L.L.O., has represented hundreds of disabled workers throughout the years to secure the benefits they need and deserve.
About Watson & Carroll
Watson & Carroll, P.C. L.L.O., is not a high-volume law firm that only speaks with clients when it is absolutely necessary. For us, it’s personal. Our team works closely with our clients and their loved ones – not only so that we understand their challenges and concerns, but so we can tailor our approach to address those factors, aggressively pursue results, and secure peace of mind. Whether it is a workers’ compensation case, a personal injury claim, a medical malpractice case, or advocating for disability benefits, we work to protect our clients and make sure their rights are upheld. Our firm can help. Call 402-234-8787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can fill out our confidential contact form.