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Are mental health issues covered by Social Security?

In today’s world, mental health-related concerns have moved to the forefront. While more people than ever are able to openly discuss their mental health struggles, the process of obtaining Social Security Disability Insurance benefits is still difficult.

If you have a mental health issue, it’s your responsibility to show to the Social Security Administration (SSA) that it prevents you from working. While you know the effects the condition has on your life, it’s much more difficult to prove to outsiders.

The SSA has a list of mental conditions that are recognized as disabilities. Some of the many disorders on the list include:

  • Autism
  • Mental retardation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia

Even if your condition isn’t included on the SSA list, you may still be entitled to disability benefits.

Assessing a mental health concern

With a physical injury, the symptoms and impact on your life are often easy to identify. However, with a mental health concern, it’s not always easy to prove that you are entitled to SSDI benefits.

Examiners rely on all types of information to assess your mental health, including but not limited to:

  • Medical records
  • Information provided in a daily living questionnaire
  • Feedback from co-workers, family and friends

If the initial information isn’t enough to make an accurate decision, the SSA will order a mental consultative exam to be conducted by an independent doctor.

If you are dealing with a mental health issues, learn more about Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and your ability to receive them. Do not be discouraged if your initial application is denied. This is normal. A legal professional can help you file an appeal if you want to continue on your quest to receive benefits.


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