Mental Health and Social Security Disability: Do You Qualify? 

If you have a mental health diagnosis, determining if you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits can often be challenging. Here, you’ll learn the eligibility requirements for these programs and whether or not you qualify.

For many with mental health diagnoses, the idea of applying for social security disability is daunting at best – terrifying at worst. After all, it’s not just about being able to afford your basic needs without an income; it’s also about being strong enough that your symptoms don’t prevent you from working full time. 

Thankfully, if you contact a Fayetteville social security disability attorney, you can get help to fill out the paperwork, gather your supporting documents, and survive the social security disability application process. You can get financial aid without depending on SSI.

Qualifying for Disability Benefits Through Social Security:

Disability claims through the Social Security Administration are handled under Title II of the Social Security Act. That means that to qualify for benefits through this program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You cannot work. 

This means that you may not qualify if you can do significant amounts of work without other people’s help. If you require self-care to maintain your health, such as eating and sleeping, these requirements do not apply to you. Self-care is generally any activity that requires little or no assistance from others or equipment other than your own body. Examples of self-care include bathing, dressing, using the toilet, getting in and out of bed, eating, drinking, and maintaining bodily functions.

  • You cannot perform any kind of substantial gainful activity. 

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have a medically determinable impairment that prevents you from performing a substantial gainful activity, defined as any paid employment, whether full-time or part-time. Most commonly, people who apply for SSI or SSDI will be able to prove this through a psychiatrist or psychologist’s medical certification.

  • You cannot be expected to get better from the impairment.

The doctor who will give your doctor’s certification must know that you are expected to get worse from this cause.

  • Your impairment must result from a medically determinable condition, and it must begin before the age of 22 (if age 22 or older) or before the age of 14 (if under age 22).

These were some of the eligibility requirements set out by the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, getting in touch with an attorney will enable you to get a clear idea of qualifications. 

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