Disability benefits are available to individuals that are unable to work full-time due to a severe mental impairment. Examples of such impairments include depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. Although you may have been diagnosed with such a disorder and may be unable to work as a result, such a case can still be a challenge. Part of this challenge lies in the quality of the evidence documenting your mental health problems. While physical disabilities can be shown to be severe through irrefutable evidence in the form of x-rays or MRIs, mental health issues cannot be demonstrated as unambiguously through medical evidence. A doctor may have diagnosed you with a certain mental illness, but his diagnosis may be based in large part upon your own subjective claims about symptoms like anxiety or depression. The best way to overcome this obstacle is to create a consistent and compelling medical record. This can be accomplished by continuing to follow-up with your providers.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can be a debilitating condition, and it is a mental disorder that currently affects hundreds of thousands of people in our country. Unfortunately, the condition can be so difficult to live with that it prevents some folks from being able to work or even from being able to enjoy spending time with their loved ones.
We had mentioned that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month earlier this month on our Minneapolis Social Security disability law blog. But October is also National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Although breast cancer and traumatic brain injuries are very different medical conditions, both conditions can lead to disability.
There has been some discussion recently about the legitimacy of applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) with a mental disorder. Individuals and organizations who would like to change the SSD system believe the addition of multiple mental disorders in the past decades proves that Social Security Disability requirements are becoming lenient.