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According to The Kim Foundation, a trusted resource on mental disorders, an estimated 26.2 percent or 57.7 million of the American population aged 18 and above suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder. These individuals’ abilities are often impaired which prevents them from being able to work. If you or a loved one are among those afflicted with mental disorders, you may be able to claim disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). A skilled social security disability lawyer from esteemed law firms like Jan Dils Attorney At Law, L.C. can help determine social security disability eligibility and assist in filing for claims.
The SSA is the sole government body in charge of the assessment of mental impairments to determine if a person is qualified to receive benefits. Due to the unpredictable nature of some mental disorders, however, mental disabilities are harder to prove than physical disabilities. To qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits, a claimant must be examined by SSA appointed examiners. They must also bring with them medical proof to substantiate their claim. In the event that there is not enough information to support your disability claim, you can undergo a mental consultative exam administered by an independent physician.
After assessment, your symptoms and medical records will be cross-referenced against the official listing of impairments wherein different medical conditions are listed. The book is commonly referred to as the blue book. In the blue book are mental conditions that render a claimant automatically qualified to receive SSDI or SSI benefits. These mental impairments are depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, substance abuse disorders, mental retardation, autistic disorders, personality disorders, and schizophrenia.
People whose conditions do not meet the criteria listed in the blue book may push forward in claiming benefits. They only need to prove that the mental condition they are suffering from prevents them from working, and that it will last for at least 12 months. The SSA will then measure your residual functional capacity or RFC to determine the limits of your ability to work and the amount of benefit you should receive.
Since mental disability is harder to establish, you’re going to need all the help you can get. The SSA might not be able to accurately judge a specific mental condition, in which case, you will need assistance from capable social security disability lawyers.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law