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Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Illnesses and Disorders

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When most of us think of injuries that prevent us from going to work, we think of illnesses or conditions that physically prevent us from doing the tasks that make up our job. Some illnesses, while invisible to outside observers, can be just as disabling. If you are suffering from a serious mental illness or disorder that makes it impossible to go to work, you may have a right to collect Social Security Disability Income. Read on to learn about SSDI benefits for those suffering from mental disorders and illnesses, and contact an experienced Alabama disability lawyer to learn more about your right to disability benefits.

Mental illnesses can be as disabling as physical illnesses

Serious mental illness can make it impossible for you to function capably in the workplace, and the Social Security Administration recognizes this fact. Just as with other forms of illness or disease, the Social Security Administration will require that an applicant for mental health-related SSDI benefits provides evidence of a diagnosis of the disorder, as well as evidence showing the ways that their diagnosis makes it impossible for them to hold down steady employment.

Numerous disorders and illnesses can result in qualifying for disability

The Blue Book, used to make determinations of disability, includes nine categories of mental illness or disorder that can qualify an individual for SSDI:

  • Affective disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism and related disorders
  • Mental retardation
  • Organic mental disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia, paranoia, and psychotic disorders
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Substance addiction

Each individual disorder has its own set of criteria that the Social Security Administration uses when deciding if someone is entitled to benefits. Essentially, the SSA tries to determine the extent to which the disorder impacts your ability to interact with others and function in a typical work environment.

Cumulative effect of disorders or injuries can result in disability determination

In some cases, a mental illness will be one among several conditions that, when their effects are combined, will result in a determination that you are unable to work. For example, a worker in a factory may have been injured in a car accident that resulted in difficulty standing for long periods of time, as well as occasional and sudden bouts of panic brought on by post-traumatic stress disorder. While, individually, the conditions might not be disabling enough to keep the sufferer from working, their combined effect might leave the person disabled.

If you need help applying for disability benefits in Alabama, contact the compassionate and dedicated Montgomery Social Security Disability attorneys at the Dansby Law Firm for a consultation, at 334-834-7001. 

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