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What Mental Impairments Qualify for SSDI Benefits? January 28, 2020

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What Mental Impairments Qualify for SSDI Benefits?, Dothan, Alabama

The Social Security Administration awards disability insurance benefits to individuals suffering from mental disorders as well as physical disabilities. In both cases, the claimant’s functional capacity to support themselves may be inhibited by their condition. However, due to the less objective nature of mental impairments, many applicants have an attorney prepare their application. While there is no set standard for determining functional capacity, the following is a closer look at how the process works.

How Is Functional Capacity Determined?

Inability to Function in Daily Life

A mental disorder may diminish the applicant’s ability to perform daily tasks like cooking, cleaning, shopping, paying bills, caring for personal hygiene, and performing household chores. In this case, an attorney will furnish evidence to back up the SSDI claim.

Inability to Work 

Evidence of inability to work can be demonstrated by a lack of past work as well as an applicant’s inability to continue performing a job they held prior to being diagnosed with a mental impairment. However, a skilled benefits attorney will go a step further by proving that the applicant is likewise unable to perform reasonable alternative employment. 

Inability to Handle Social Interactions 

attorneyEvidence of an applicant’s inability to behave appropriately in social situations is also probative of impaired functional capacity due to the necessity of proper social behavior in daily life and work environments.

What Mental Disabilities Are Recognized?

While not exhaustive, the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” identifies a number of mental disabilities that can make a person eligible for SSDI benefits. The impairments recognized in the Blue Book include the following:

  • Organic disorders affecting the nervous system, such as delirium, dementia, and Alzheimer’s
  • Psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and paranoia
  • Mood or affective disorders not caused by brain abnormalities, like depression and bipolar disorder
  • Mental retardation
  • Continuous and episodic anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks and abnormal phobias
  • Somatoform disorders, which are mental illnesses that present as other illnesses or injuries for which there is no discernible cause
  • Personality disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Substance addiction disorders, including alcohol, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs
  • Pervasive developmental disorders affecting communicative, cognitive, and social skills, such as autism


Whether your Social Security benefits claim is straightforward or complex, The Gil Law Firm is here to help you give it the best chance of approval. With locations in Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, let these skilled and knowledgable attorneys provide you with the legal representation you deserve. To learn more about their services regarding claims and appeals, visit their website or call (334) 673-0100.

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