Living with a mental illness can be just as challenging as navigating life with a physical disability. Therefore, it’s reasonable to assume that people with mental illnesses are just as entitled to Social Security Disability benefits, despite the fact that their struggles are not visibly apparent. If you have a mental illness, a compassionate disability attorney can help you determine whether it’s considered a qualifying condition. In the meantime, here are some answers to general questions on the topic.
A Guide to Mental Illness & Social Security Disability Benefits
Which mental illnesses are considered qualifying?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has devised a comprehensive list detailing the mental disorders that might make someone eligible for benefits. This list includes mood disorders, learning disabilities, eating disorders, and neurocognitive disorders.
How do you prove a mental disorder?
Claimants can prove a mental disorder the same way they might prove a physical disability: by providing sufficient evidence of their condition. Such evidence might include medical records, pharmacy records, testimony from close friends or old coworkers, and statements from relevant experts, such as psychiatrists and counselors.
Can you receive benefits if you have a co-occurring substance abuse disorder?
The SSA recognizes that mental disorders and substance abuse go hand in hand. Therefore, it’s possible for claimants who have a substance abuse disorder to secure benefits — as long as their condition would be just as disabling if they were sober. However, if medical records indicate drugs or alcohol are exacerbating the condition, the claim will be denied.
Do you need to hire an attorney to complete the claims process?
Although it’s possible to apply for benefits without hiring a lawyer, seeking legal counsel can help facilitate the proceedings. Turning to disability attorneys will also ensure you do not inadvertently jeopardize the claim by making a misstep along the way, like submitting an incomplete application or missing a critical deadline.
If you’re struggling to earn a living because of a debilitating mental illness, the disability attorneys at Davis & Associates can determine if you’re eligible for benefits. From their offices in Dothan, Mobile, and Montgomery, they serve injured and disabled parties throughout all of southeast Alabama. With nearly four decades of experience, this firm knows what it takes to secure the most favorable outcome possible for each and every client. To learn more about the comprehensive counsel they provide, visit their website, or call (334) 671-3990 to talk to one of their disability attorneys today.