The short answer to the question in the headline is: Yes. A person can be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if they have a mental health disorder. However, there is more to know if you are considering your options for pursuing these benefits.
Underestimating mental health conditions
One obstacle people often face when it comes to pursuing SSDI for mental health issues is one they put there themselves: doubting that they may be eligible for benefits in the first place.
Overcoming this obstacle can mean taking your condition and well-being seriously and knowing that there is an entire category for mental health impairments recognized by the Social Security Administration as disabling. These include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Intellectual disabilities
- Affective disorders
- Somatoform disorders
If you have these or other conditions, you may very well be eligible for benefits if they are severe and long-lasting.
Making your case
Unlike many physically disabling conditions, mental health issues are not visible. Mental health conditions are both subjective in terms of symptoms, diagnosis, and in treatment. Thus, making the case that these conditions are severe enough to prevent you from working can be challenging.
But it is certainly not impossible.
Applying for SSDI benefits for a mental health condition is very much the same as it is for any other illness. One of the primary requirements is that you must prove that your condition is disabling. For a mental health illness, proving this could mean gathering:
- Your medical history
- Records of doctor visits
- Official diagnoses
- List of medications
- Estimates on the duration of your condition from a medical professional
This information can support your claims that your mental health condition is disabling enough to keep you from working.
Mental health conditions can be difficult enough for a person to deal with; navigating the SSDI process can seem overwhelming. However, it can be easier with legal guidance and support – even if the Social Security Administration initially denies your application.
Mental health conditions can be just as disabling and difficult to treat as physical conditions. If you have one that prevents you from working, seeking benefits for which you are eligible can help you focus on recovery.