As of 2021, the Social Security Administration reported 9.2 million people received Social Security Disability benefits. Some of these people qualified due to a mental disability.
To determine if your mental disability qualifies you for SSDI, it is essential to understand the criteria and steps involved in the evaluation.
Review the Blue Book
The SSA maintains a guide called the Blue Book, which outlines the criteria for various disabilities, including mental disorders. To see if your condition meets the requirements, consult the Blue Book’s “Mental Disorders” section. It lists specific diagnoses and the necessary symptoms or limitations for each to qualify for SSDI.
Gather medical evidence
Supporting medical evidence is crucial to your SSDI claim. You will need documentation from qualified medical professionals, such as psychiatrists, psychologists or therapists. They should confirm your diagnosis, describe the severity of your symptoms and detail their impact on your daily life. Your application should include medical records, treatment histories and test results.
Show functional limitations
Mental disabilities often affect a person’s ability to perform daily activities and work-related tasks. Your SSDI claim should demonstrate how your condition limits your functional capacity. This includes difficulties in maintaining concentration, following instructions, interacting with others and adapting to changes in routine.
Document work history
You must demonstrate that your mental disability prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity. SGA involves earning income above a specific threshold set by the SSA.
Comply with treatment plans
Continuing with prescribed treatment plans and therapies is important. If your medical providers recommend medications, therapy or other treatments, you must follow through. Non-compliance can raise questions about the severity of your condition and your commitment to improving it.
Work with the SSA
The SSA may require you to undergo a consultative examination by a medical professional to assess your disability further. Cooperate fully with this process, as the results can impact your claim.
Determining if your mental disability qualifies you for SSDI involves a careful evaluation. The process can be challenging, but you can increase your chances of a successful SSDI claim by being as compliant as possible.