South Carolina Social Security Lawyers: Bipolar Disorder and Social Security Benefits
What You Need to Know
If you or a family member suffers from bipolar disorder, then you know how tough it is to explain the impact mental illness can have on a person’s ability to function. If you are unable to work because of bipolar disorder, call one of our social security attorneys for a free claim evaluation right now. 803-252-4800
Mental Disorders and Social Security Disability
The Blue Book is used by the Social Security Administration to establish guidelines for which conditions qualify a claimant for Social Security disability benefits. Section 12 of the Blue Book deals with mental disorders, detailing which types of mental disorders can qualify you for benefits, and under what circumstances. There are nine categories of mental disorders covered in the Blue Book. These include:
- 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 type of disorder is evaluated according to its own set of criteria. To qualify for benefits with that condition, you must be able to show that you meet the criteria or that the sum total of all of your disabling conditions is equivalent to the listed criteria or otherwise completely hinders you from engaging in any gainful activity.
Regardless of which type of mental disorder you are dealing with, you will need to be able to show that you are receiving and complying with treatment. It is important that you continue to undergo treatment while you are in the process of claiming Social Security disability benefits.
HOW DO YOU PROVE BIPOLAR DISORDER IS DISABLING?
At the SSA’s request, your treating doctor should submit to the SSA your psychiatric medical record showing the entire history of your bipolar disorder, including documentation of any severe or violent manic episodes. Your psychiatric record should include all treatments attempted, including any mood-stabilizing medications that you’ve tried, such as lithium, carbamazepine, or valproic acid, what your current prescribed therapy is, and whether you regularly comply with the prescribed therapy (bipolar patients often take a drug holiday leading to problematic episodes). Your medical record should also include the efficacy and side effects of each medication, and how their side effects, along with your symptoms, affect your daily activities, your functioning, and your ability to hold a job.
If there is evidence in your medical file that your doctor suspects your use of alcohol or drugs compounds your emotional problems, this can affect your claim.
Our disability lawyers, as well as our Social Security lawyers, have experience in proving exactly that. Together with our well-trained legal staff, we have successfully helped hundreds of clients collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits through claims and appeals.
As your representatives, a legal assistant, paralegal, and SSDI/SSI attorney will handle your claim, assembling the necessary medical records from your doctor, therapist, and an occupational specialist to present your claim in the strongest favorable way.
Call (803) 252-4800 To Find Out About Your Disability Claim
Bipolar disorder is an extremely complex and receptive issue. Many times, men or women wait years to get an accurate diagnosis, or their condition may have been aggravated by another medical condition.
Especially when dealing with mental health concerns such as bipolar disorder, it is imperative that you work with professionals you are comfortable with so you can freely talk about all aspects of what is certainly a complex situation.