Living with a mental illness can affect each person with an illness differently. Even if two people have the same or similar diagnoses, it does not mean that the condition will affect them both in the same way. As a result, someone with bipolar disorder may be able to hold down steady employment, while someone else with the same condition may not be able to work at all.
In cases where bipolar disorder prevents a person from working, the idea of applying for Social Security Disability benefits may cross that person’s mind. The Social Security Administration does account of mood disorders in its listing of qualifying disabling conditions. Because bipolar disorder is a mood disorder, someone with this condition may qualify. However, there are still stipulations to meet.
Some requirements that the SSA looks for in these cases include the following:
- A history of a fully encapsulating symptoms relating to both manic and depressive syndromes
- Experiencing at least two difficulties or restrictions listed in the SSA guidelines, which include restricted daily living activities, difficulties concentrating, episodes of decompensation or difficulties with social function
- Repeated incidents of decompensation, the likelihood of decompensation with even minimal increase in mental demands or environmental change, and having an inability to support oneself without significant support for one or more years
Though bipolar disorder is considered a qualifying condition under the SSA guidelines, it does not mean an applicant will receive an automatic approval. Providing evidence that the condition meets the necessary stipulations is required as well as properly applying for benefits. The process can be challenging at times, and in the event of a denial, it can seem impossible to some. Fortunately, interested individuals could obtain assistance with the process in hopes of bettering their chances of a successful application or appeal.