Disability Benefits for Mental Illness

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Disabilities come in many different forms and manifest themselves in different ways for different people. When it comes to problems that prevent people from working, many often first think of physical ailments or inhibitions that prevent work from being done. While this is certainly an important kind of disability, there are others that may prevent a person from earning a normal wage. Mental illness is prevalent in America as being a major cause of forced unemployment. Thankfully, the Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes this and affords those who suffer from mental illness the chance to earn additional income through its program.

Much like any other kind of affliction, mental illnesses must be proven to the SSA to be a major detriment to one’s life in order to receive benefits from the Social Security program. This begins by understanding what constitutes a mental disorder. The SSA’s definition is the same as one you’d find in a psychologist’s diagnostic manual, called the DSM-5. This includes the wide spectrum of mental illness ranging anywhere from depression and anxiety disorders to the schizophrenia spectrum.

In terms of proving the illness to the SSA, what is usually required is a notice and documentation from a psychologist or doctor. Having a diagnosis is paramount, but it also helps to have records to doctor’s visits and all kinds of treatment that have been undergone to treat the disorder. Any and all information is relevant, including things like hospital stays if they ever have been necessary. Anything that can help prove to a court that the mental illness is a major determinant to one’s ability to live a “normal,” working life is worth noting in an application to the SSA.

Even if everything is well documented, sometimes benefits from the Social Security program are denied for a number of reasons. If this happens, we recommend you team up with an attorney who specializes in this form of law and appeals to overturn the application. To learn more about how the Franco Law Firm can help you win the benefits that you need to help overcome your mental illness, please call us at (813) 872-0929.

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