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Can You Get Social Security For Bipolar Disorder

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Drugs And Alcohol And Depression

Can you get Disability for bipolar disorder, depression?

If you have been diagnosed with drug or alcohol dependency, then you have a major roadblock to obtaining disability benefits for depression or bipolar disorder. An examining psychologist might assume that your symptoms result from drug usage and not from your underlying condition. It is your burden to show the SSA that you would be disabled by your depression bipolar disorder regardless of your use of drugs or alcohol. In these situations, it is helpful to have a period of sobriety in your medical records during which you still have been diagnosed with severe depression or bipolar disorder. Also, you can try to request a statement from your doctor stating that drugs or alcohol are not the cause of your mental condition and that stopping use would not make your condition improve. For more information, read Nolo’s article on how drugs and alcohol can keep you from getting disability.

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  • Improving Your Chances For Obtaining Social Security Disability Benefits

    Its particularly important to see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can document the progression of your illness because this can sometimes be the only official record of your depression, mania or bipolar disorder. If you live with or frequently see family members or friends, ask them to document how your behavior has changed over time as well. While manic periods can occasionally be pleasant, its very important that you follow any course of treatment that youre given noncompliance can lead to a denial of benefits.

  • Keep a detailed journal, including a calendar of notes about how you feel each day.
  • Record any usual activities you could not do on any given day.
  • Keep a detailed history of your current and past medications.
  • See a health care professional regularly and take the medication that he/she gives you so that he/she can support your application for benefits.
  • Ask your doctor or other health care professional to track the course of your symptoms and to keep a record of any evidence of fatigue, irritability, forgetfulness, unusual behavior, or other hard-to-document symptoms.
  • Keep records of how your illness affected you on the job.
  • Regular use of marijuana, alcohol or other substances can hurt your chances of having your disability claim approved.
  • Your Bipolar Disorder Disability Case

    Because Bipolar Disorder is listed in the impairment listing manual of the Social Security Administration, a person with Bipolar Disorder who wishes to file for disability benefits can win by satisfying specific criteria. If you are planning to apply for SSDI/SSI disability benefits, you should bear in mind that all Social Disability claims will be granted or denied based on medical records.

    You should strive to keep a consistent treatment regimen before and during the Social Security Disability application process, and if your SSDI/SSI application is denied, you should be prepared to file a disability appeal. In many cases, a Social Security Disability lawyer or advocate can provide invaluable help by guiding you through the application and appeals processes.

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    Qualifying For Benefits With Bipolar Disorder

    The Social Security Administration maintains a listing of impairments. This list describes medical and mental health conditions that are considered severe enough to prevent an individual from participating in substantial gainful activity . There is a list for both adults and for children.

    Bipolar disorder is listed in the SSAs listing of impairments. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as an individual with bipolar disorder, you must submit evidence of the following:

    1. Medical documentation of a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, characterized by at least three of the following symptoms:

    • Pressured speech
    • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized or
    • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation

    2. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:

    • Understanding, remembering or applying information
    • Interacting with others
    • Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
    • Adapting or managing oneself.

    3. The mental disorder is serious and persistent, with a documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least two years, with documentation of both:

    • Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of the mental disorder AND

    Benefits For Disabled Adults

    Can You get Social Security Disability Benefits for Lupus ...

    SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.

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    What Are My Chances For Eligibility

    To get protection under the ADA, you have to prove that a disability like bipolar disorder severely limits your ability to work. The ADA covers companies with 15 or more employees.

    Getting Social Security benefits can be trickier. You need to have a disability and be a part of a low-income household or have worked for a certain number of years.

    Not everyone with bipolar disorder qualifies. About two-thirds of applications for disability benefits are denied at first.

    To get Social Security benefits, the SSA will ask you to show that:

    • youve lived with bipolar disorder for at least 1 year
    • your condition is severe enough to prevent you from doing your job or any other job
    • your disability will last for more than a year

    To qualify for SSDI, you need to have worked at a job where you paid Social Security taxes for a certain number of years.

    The older you are, the more years you need to have worked. A 42-year-old must have worked for 5 years, while a 30-year-old only needs 2 years of work.

    To qualify for SSI, you need to earn less than a certain amount of money. That amount varies by state. You also cant have more than $2,000 in assets .

    You May Qualify For Legal Assistance

    Consult a Social Security lawyer before filing your disability benefits claim. You can sign up for a free phone call from an attorney near you today for free legal advice. Having a lawyer file your claim paperwork doubles your chances of getting disability benefits the first time you apply!

    Since bipolar disorder is a mental condition that affects mood, proving it stops you from working may be challenging. As a result, benefit approval is much more difficult for claimants like you. In fact, the SSA approves just 21% of all first-time SSD applications. If you dont initially get benefits, you still have 60 days to appeal.

    Throughout the process, its important to keep up treatment to ensure your disorder stays under control. Try to avoid serious manic or depressive episodes that could slow down the process.

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    Can I Get Social Security Disability For My Bipolar Disorder

    Disability claims based on bipolar disorder can be approved if the medical evidence substantiates the severity of your alleged symptoms

    Does Social Security consider bipolar disorder to be disabling?

    How exactly does Social Security evaluate a disability claim based on bipolar disorder?

    Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work

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    How Is Bipolar Disorder Diagnosed

    Bipolar Disorder Treatment? Does That Qualify Me For Social Security Disability Benefits?

    The symptoms of bipolar disorder are difficult to prove and diagnose. Due to this difficulty of diagnosis, individuals with bipolar who apply for disability benefits are often denied initially. This is because the symptoms typically come and go in waves and there are times when people with bipolar disorder have no symptoms at all. The symptoms also need to be clearly out of the individuals normal range of mood and behavior. Doctors who diagnose individuals with bipolar disorder use one of the four basic types listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    Bipolar I Disorder: Individual has manic or mixed episodes that last longer than 7 days as well as depressive episodes that last at least 2 weeks. Manic episodes can get severe enough for hospitalization.

    Bipolar II Disorder: Individual has episodes of hypomania instead of mania along with full depressive episodes. Hypomanic episodes are similar to manic episodes except that they are not as intense and dont tend to last as long.

    Bipolar Disorder Not Otherwise Specified : Individual shows symptoms of bipolar disorder but technically doesnt meet the qualifications for bipolar I or II.

    Cyclothymic Disorder: Individual has episodes of hypomania and periods of depression. These periods of depression are not severe enough to be considered full depressive episodes.

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    For Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries

    If you receive SSD benefits, you have a trial work period of nine months that allows you to test your ability to work without risking your benefits. Be sure to check how many months you have left of your trial work period before you begin. A month only counts if you earn over $720. After the trial work period ends, you will not receive benefits in months where you earn over $1000. For three years after the end of your trial work period, you can begin receiving benefits again if you stop earning $1000/month and you?re still disabled this is called Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, or EXR.

    Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability

    Bipolar can be managed with medication, but many people with this mood disorder resist taking meds. Untreated, it can wreak havoc in families and at the workplace. People with bipolar who refuse meds or stop taking them are unlikely to be approved for disability benefits because many medications do work to alleviate most symptoms.

    If you are bipolar and have decided to apply for disability, consider your medication status. You may want to first ask yourself:

    • Do I sometimes forget to take my medications as prescribed?
    • Do I avoid taking meds because of side effects?
    • Have I only tried taking one type of medication?
    • Do I avoid taking meds due to the expense?

    If you answered YES to one or more of these questions, you may not be a good candidate for disability.

    On the other hand, if you have tried medications for several months, have had bad side effects, such as headaches, fatigue, worsening symptoms, suicidal thoughts. If you have tried multiple medications with no relief, then you have a better shot at winning disability.

    Another factor for people who have bipolar disorder is hospitalization. Have you ever been hospitalized for any reason related to bipolar disorder? Common reasons are psychosis and suicide attempts. If you have had several visits to the hospital as an inpatient, your disability claim is much more likely to be approved.

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    Bipolar Disorder And Your Social Security Disability Case

    Because Bipolar Disorder is a mood disorder, it can be hard to prove the severity of the condition in terms of medical documentation. Because of this, getting approved for Social Security Disability benefits may be difficult. The SSA only approves about 30 percent of the initial applications received each year. If your claim for Social Security Disability benefits is one of the 70 percent that is denied during the initial stage of the application process, you will need to file an appeal in order to receive the disability benefits you need.

    If you are looking to file for disability benefits or have already been denied, it may be in your best interests to consult with a Social Security Disability attorney before doing so. A qualified attorney can review your claim for Social Security Disability benefits and may help you gather any additional documentation needed to prove your disability case. He or she will also be able to represent you during the hearing stage of the appeal process. Statistics show that applicants who have legal representation at the hearing stage of the Social Security Disability appeals process are more likely to be awarded disability benefits.

    Symptoms Of Depression Include:

    Some individuals suffering from bipolar disorder are ...
    • Increased activity generally, especially goal-directed activity
    • Increased reckless behavior such as gambling, spending sprees, social behaviors

    Bipolar II is more common than Bipolar I. Like Bipolar I, it is often first diagnosed in young people. However, unlike Bipolar I, individuals with Bipolar II never experience manic episodes. Instead, they experience periods of major depression along with periods of hypomania. Unlike mania, the symptoms of hypomania are not severe enough to cause severe impairments in social and occupational functioning. However, this does not mean that individuals with Bipolar II cannot qualify for disability benefits.

    Bipolar disorder is included in the Social Security Listings of Impairments, which means that if your illness has been diagnosed by a qualified medical practitioner and is severe enough to keep you from working, you are eligible to receive disability benefits. However, because there are no medical tests for these mental illnesses, it is vital that you see a psychologist or psychiatrist who can support your application.

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    Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility

    Bipolar disorder, also known by the name of manic depression, is a psychotic mental disorder involving both depression and mania . In bipolar disorder, there is an expansive and elated mood that may cycle with depression a less severe form is known as cyclothymia. Some people have “rapid cycling” of manic and depressive episodes, but for others a manic or depressive episode can last for weeks or months.

    To qualify for disability benefits for bipolar disorder, your condition must be severe enough that either of the following are true, even with proper medication:

    • You meet the specific requirements for bipolar disorder that the Social Security Administration has set out in its impairment listing on mood disorders .
    • You can’t function at a high enough and consistent enough level to hold a basic, unskilled job.

    Seeking Legal Counsel For Bipolar Disability Benefits

    If youre interested in seeking Social Security Disability for bipolar disorder, it can be challenging to get your application approved. In fact, about two-thirds of all SSDI applications are denied the first time around. About 85% are denied when submitted for reconsideration. Put your interests and future first with the team at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC. Weve served clients inYork,Lancaster,Hanover,Harrisburg,Carlisle, and throughout Pennsylvania for nearly 100 years. Our unparalleled experience andproven results make our firm a clear choice for your bipolar disorder disability claim.

    Lets talk about the ways we can help you. Call today for your free, confidential consultation.

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    Qualifying For Disability Benefits Based On The Bipolar Disorder Listing

    To qualify under the SSA’s official listing for bipolar disorder, you must have a diagnosis of bipolar disorder I or II and a history of specific, severe symptoms causing a decrease in your abilities. This listing was updated signficantly in January 2017. Now, you must have at least three of the following symptoms:

    • unnaturally fast, frenzied speech
    • quickly changing ideas and thought patterns
    • inflated self-esteem
    • distractibility
    • involvement in risky activities with painful consequences that are not recognized, and/or
    • increase in physical agitation or in in goal-directed activity .

    You must also meet “functional” criteria to show that you have a loss of abilities due to these symptoms. Generally, you must have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas, or a “marked” limitation in at least two of the following areas:

    • understanding, remembering, or using information
    • interacting with others
    • concentrating and maintaining pace in performing tasks , and/or
    • adapting or managing oneself .

    Note that “marked” is seriously limiting it is worse than moderate. Extreme is less severe than a complete loss of an ability, but worse than marked. Marked and extreme are matters of professional judgment used by a SSA psychiatrist or psychologist when reviewing the medical evidence.

    How Does The Process Work

    Social Security Disability: How Bipolar Disorder Can Prevent Employment

    You receive a Ticket in the mail. You take this Ticket to any Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation agency , and if you both agree to work together, the EN or VR will help you with job training, finding employers, information about work incentives, materials to send to prospective employers, and other tasks that will help you go to work. Participating in the Ticket to Work program means that youre protected from a Continuing Disability Review based on your potential ability to work.

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    What Other Requirements To I Need To Meet To Obtain Disability Benefits

    There are several basic criteria, aside from the ones above, that you need to meet for the SSA to deem you disabled and grant you benefits:

    • Your condition must be expected to last a year or longer or result in death.
    • Your disorder must severely impair your ability to work. The SSA will only approve you if you cannot work at your old job and you cannot adjust to new work.

    You also must meet certain financial or work history requirements, depending on the type of disability benefit for which you are applying. Social Security Disability benefits require that you have a sufficient work history at a job where you paid Social Security taxes. You will need a certain number of work credits to qualify for benefits, the exact number of which depends on your age.

    If you have not worked long or recently enough to qualify for SSDI, you can instead apply for Supplemental Security Income , a different benefit for disabled persons with limited income and resources. With SSI, work history is unimportant, but your income and assets must fall below designated thresholds to qualify.

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