Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits are meant to help people pay bills and afford basic necessities after they can no longer work due to a debilitation. Most people associate SSD benefits with someone who has a severe physical impairment, like a brain injury or spinal cord damage. Predictably, the majority of SSD benefit cases do involve someone with a physical wound. However, a person struggling with a mental illness or cognitive disorder may also be capable of collecting SSD benefits, given the right set of circumstances.
Due to extensive research and campaigning on part of mental health awareness groups, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has acknowledged that physical injuries are not the only conditions that can debilitate someone to the point of making employment unreasonable or difficult. Many people receiving SSD benefits for a mental disorder are war veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common affliction for people returning from active combat, especially if they were near detonated explosive devices.
PTSD is not the only mental health condition that can make someone eligible to receive SSD benefits. In further acknowledgement of the severity of mental illnesses, the SSA has expanded its list of qualifying conditions throughout the years to include many forms of cognitive disabilities.
A few examples of mental illnesses that could qualify someone for SSD benefits include:
- Drug addiction
- Alcohol abuse
In order to qualify for SSD based on a mental illness, a petitioner must first be diagnosed by a doctor, just the same as someone would if they had a physical injury. Additionally, the SSA may require a petitioner to undergo psychological treatments for several months to gauge possible improvements before assigning full SSD benefits. The decisions of the SSA in this regard is greatly dependent on each case’s individual details.
Filing an SSD Claim for a Mental Illness
Figuring out how to file for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complicated process, especially if you are not familiar with the laws surrounding it. Brooks Law and our Medford SSD attorneys allow you to remove the guesswork from your case by placing it in our experienced, capable hands. We will do everything in our power to see that you receive the benefits you deserve as soon as possible.
Call toll-free 888.558.0622 or fill out an online contact form now to begin.