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Do mental health challenges make you eligible for disability?

Struggling with a mental health condition is a serious challenge, no matter the type or severity of the condition. In some severe cases, this type of medical problem may keep a person from working, and, by default, from making money to support his or her family or get needed care.

If you are unable to work due to a serious medical condition, regardless of whether it is a mental or physical issue, you could be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. If you believe that you are eligible, it can be beneficial to work with an experienced attorney in order to secure the benefits you deserve.

Eligibility requirements and qualifying conditions

In order to be eligible for disability benefits, you must be suffering from a condition that prevents you from working. You must have at least one of the the following requirements in order to secure benefits:

  • A diagnosed condition expected to prevent you from working for at least 12 months
  • A medical condition that prevents you from adjusting to another type of employment
  • Employment history and history of paying Social Security taxes

A mental condition can have as severe an impact on a person's life as a physical condition, and these issues can be difficult to diagnose and treat. The Social Security Administration considers some of the following conditions valid grounds for benefits:

  • Autism
  • Affective disorders
  • Severe depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Personality disorders
  • Paranoia and psychotic disorders
  • Schizophrenia

It can be difficult to determine if you have a qualifying condition, and, if you do, how to proceed with the appropriate steps. It is best to begin this process by seeking the help of an attorney with experience navigating the benefits application process and advocating on behalf of the injured. Your mental condition may prevent you from working, but it does not preclude you from the support you need for care and treatment.

A denied claim is not the end of the road for you

A denied claim can be frustrating and confusing, especially if you are certain you have a valid condition and provided proof and documentation. At this point, you may feel like giving up, but there are other options available to you. You have the right to appeal your denied claim and continue to fight for the benefits you need. As many first-time applicants receive a denial, you are not alone in this unfortunate situation.

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