Is a serious mental illness preventing you—or someone you love—from working and achieving substantial gainful employment (SGA)? You may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
SSDI claims for mental disorders are surprisingly common. In fact, roughly a quarter of applicants list mental health conditions, such as anxiety and mood disorders, as their primary impairment.
Unfortunately, SSDI claims involving mental illnesses can be even more complex than those involving physical disabilities. As a result, mental health claims are often denied. Keep reading to find out why—and how working with an accomplished New York Social Security disability attorney when preparing and filing your application can increase your chances of approval.
Also known as the Listing of Impairments, the SSA Blue Book lists disabling conditions that may qualify individuals for benefits. The Blue Book includes 11 categories of potentially qualifying mental disorders:
Generally, in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits, you must have:
However, when applying for SSDI benefits for a mental disorder, you'll need to provide evidence that your illness causes severe functional limitations that prevent you from working. Each of the mental health conditions listed in the Blue Book has its own evaluation criteria. For example, in order to gain approval for psychiatric and mood disorders, you must be completely unable to function outside of a supportive environment despite two years of treatment or have sufficient evidence showing that your condition prevents you from being reasonably expected to function in a work environment.
Even if you don't meet a Blue Book mental health listing, you may still qualify for benefits if you can show that your mental disability causes insurmountable limitations. Completing a mental residual functional capacity (MRFC) form with your doctor can help the SSA evaluate your ability to:
Avoid a denial by carefully reviewing your SSDI application before submitting it. Here are some of the most frequent reasons mental health claims are denied:
At O'Connor Law PLLC, our Social Security disability attorneys help individuals with severe mental illnesses obtain the benefits they deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation.