If you are struggling mentally, whether it’s due to depression, anxiety or trauma, it’s likely to make every aspect of your life more difficult. Some days, it may feel impossible to get out of bed or to make simple decisions.
Suffering from a mental illness can be as debilitating as a physical illness or permanent injury. It can stop you from being able to perform day-to-day tasks, and it may prevent you from earning an income. If you believe that you are unable to work because you are suffering from a mental impairment, look into your options regarding qualifications for disability benefits.
Mental impairments and the Social Security Administration The Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a list of mental impairments that are recognized as disabling. This includes conditions such as autism, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety.
Even if your condition is not mentioned in the SSA’s official list of conditions, you may still be able to get benefits. This is due to the specific way that the SSA assesses mental health disorders.
How the SSA assesses each case
The SSA assesses each case by evaluating whether the claimant can gain meaningful income while suffering from their condition. Even if your specific condition is not listed under the official SSA list, the SSA may still grant you disability benefits, particularly if you have several impairments that contribute to your inability to earn a living. What does “residual functional capacity” mean?
Residual functional capacity, or RFC, refers to an individual’s ability to complete any type of work that will allow them to perform substantial gainful activity. In other words, when the SSA measures your RFC, they will be assessing how much your impairment is affecting your ability to earn an income. Your RFC will fall into one of four categories, which will determine how much you’ll be able to gain in terms of disability benefits:
- Not significantly limited
- Moderately limited
- Markedly limited
- Insufficient evidence