Collecting Social Security Disability for Mental & Psychological Illness – Long Beach Lawyers
Social Security Disability can sometimes be collected for a mental illness or a psychological condition – but it is usually harder to collect disability for a mental illness than for a physical illness. Our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers believe that there are three reasons for this.
Why It Is Harder to Collect Social Security Disability for Psychological Conditions & Mental Illness – Long Beach Lawyers
First, psychological symptoms are harder than physical symptoms to assess – and the severity of a mental condition is hard to measure objectively. In other words, there are lab tests that will clearly show if you have cancer, and even how advanced the cancer is. But there is simply no “lab test” that can prove the existence (or severity) of most mental or psychological conditions. Of course a few conditions of the brain – for example Alzheimer ’s disease – will be visible on a CT scan. But for the most part there are not concrete physical tests for mental disorders, so they are harder to “prove”.
Secondly, our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers believe that many claimants that suffer from a mental illness or a psychological condition are denied Social Security Disability benefits because the SSA’s disability claims examiners are not licensed psychiatrists or psychologist, so they do not always understand the full scope of the disability that is imposed by certain mental illnesses or psychological conditions.
For example, some SSA disability examiners may not understand the “cyclical” nature of certain mental illnesses including bipolar disorder, or manic depression. Anyone suffering from this type of disorder knows that their symptoms can “come and go” – depending upon a variety of factors including, medication, stress, etc. So, an SSA disability examiner may see a claimant on a “good” day and assume a patient is cured because he or she is not currently displaying symptoms of mental illness – when the reality is that the symptoms are almost certain to return at some point in the very near future.
The best way to overcome the challenges of collecting Social Security Disability for a mental illness, psychological condition or cognitive disability is to hire an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer who has handled hundreds of these cases. Only a skilled and experienced lawyer will know exactly what the Social Security Administration is “looking for” when making a decision to approve your claim. An experienced Social Security Disability lawyer can help you fill out all forms properly, compile the necessary medical records and other documentation, and make sure that everything the SSA needs has been submitted in a timely fashion and in the proper format.
Eligibility for Social Security Disability for Psychological & Mental Illness
The first thing that an SSA Social Security disability examiner does in evaluating a mental illness or psychological condition is to refer to the Social Security’s “official listing” of impairments. This official listing of conditions is often commonly referred to simply as “The Blue Book.” The Blue Book lists the medical conditions that Social Security recognizes as being “inherently disabling”. In other words, if a person is determined to be suffering from a condition listed in the Blue Book it is accepted that he or she would be unable to work and could not earn an amount equivalent to “substantial gainful activity”.
Keep in mind that just because your condition is listed in the Blue Book, you do not “automatically” qualify for Social Security Disability. You still have to “prove” that you actually have the condition you claim you have. In other words, the disability examiner will still look at the totality of your records to make a determination if your symptoms actually meet the criteria of any of the specific mental condition listed in the blue book.
Mental Illnesses and Psychological Conditions listed in the Blue Book include, among others:
Social Security Disability For · schizophrenia
Social Security Disability For · mental retardation
Social Security Disability For · autistic disorders
Social Security Disability For · anxiety
Social Security Disability For · depression
Social Security Disability For · post traumatic stress disorder
Social Security Disability For · bipolar disorder
Social Security Disability For · substance abuse disorders
Now, if your condition is not listed in the Blue Book, or if the examiner believes that your condition is NOT as severe as the Blue Book listing requires, you may still be eligible for Social Security Disability if you can conclusively prove that you have been diagnosed with a mental condition that is preventing you from working, and you can demonstrate that your disability is likely to last for a period of at least twelve months.
This can be a daunting task – especially if you are operating under a cognitive disability that affects your ability to think, organize or effectively express yourself. But we are here to help make sure that you “do it right” and that you present the best possible case to the Social Security Disability examiner.
Our Long Beach Social Security Lawyers Can Help
If you have been mentally, cognitively or psychologically disabled and are considering filing a Social Security Disability Claim, our experienced Social Security Disability lawyers can help make the process easier and faster for you. Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced Orange County Social Security Disability lawyer.