2.1 Mental Disabilities


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Many of the people who come to Trajector Disability for help with their Social Security Disability claims have had their work lives cut short by a disabling mental illness. Mental disorders affect us in different ways, and, without professional help, it can be hard to understand what disabilities we’re living with That’s why it’s important to find a treatment provider who can diagnose your condition.
Not only will a diagnosis help you cope with your mental disability, it will open the door to receive disability benefits from the SSA.

To understand how the SSA evaluates specific disabilities, refer to the Listing of Impairments, a comprehensive resource outlining severe medical conditions that qualify an applicant for disability benefits. Also known as Blue Book listings, this resource breaks down disabilities by the body system (e.g., musculoskeletal, neurological) and includes separate sections for adults and children. Mental disorders are arranged in 11 categories.

Why is a Listed Impairment Important?

A Listing of Impairment outlines the criteria of a given disability or group of disabilities.
Having a documented diagnosis that meets that criteria can significantly streamline your application process. Meeting listing criteria often eliminates the need for extensive medical evidence typically required to establish disability. This can lead to faster approval for your benefits.

That said, it can be difficult to meet the SSA’s requirements for a mental disability based on their Blue Book listing alone. This is why it is important to have psychologists and treatment providers documenting your condition as much and as early as possible.

For example, if you have a disability due to depression, bi-polar disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and/or other similar psychiatric conditions, you may not be able to maintain the focus and concentration required for most jobs, and/or you may not be able to keep a regular schedule. You may have anger issues that affect your work relationships. A professional opinion or diagnosis that supports the challenges you have will play a big role in the medical evidence portion of your claim.

To strengthen your disability claim and put you in the best possible position to win your case, your disability advocate should send you mental capacity assessment forms to take to your treating psychiatrists and therapists. These forms can be extremely helpful to your claim.

If your Social Security claim for a mental health disability has been denied, don’t give up. If you have a mental health problem that keeps you from being able to work, talk to the mental health disability benefits advocates at Trajector Disability.

If you’re currently experiencing a mental health crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org.

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