Social Security disability applicants must have credible medical evidence in order to receive benefits. Certain types of cases are harder to prove than others. For example, the Social Security Administration (SSA) handles claims involving mental illness and disorders differently. Applicants will need the assistance of a lawyer. To be eligible, one must prove that their mental illness is so severe, it prevents them from working.
Basic requirements to be approved for disability include having an illness or condition lasting for more than one year, and being unable to perform substantial gainful activity. Substantial gainful activity is defined as being able to make $1,070 per month. Schedule a consultation with Bolingbrook Disability Law to get help applying for benefits. Nash Disability Law has years of experience representing clients before the Administration. SSA reviews a mental illness to see if it meets or equals one of the medical conditions on its list of impairments. People who have conditions on the list receive benefits automatically. However, their condition must meet specific criteria for each listing. Some of the conditions listed under mental disorders include:
substance abuse disorders
organic disorders such as Alzheimer’s
Applicants must also show that they have functional limitations. If an individual’s condition does not meet the list requirements, SSA tries to determine their mental residual functional capacity (MRFC). MRFC is the most someone can do of the mental aspects of a job. A lot of evidence about mental illness is subjective. It is based on the applicant’s personal experience, and cannot be documented by tests. Applicants need to be open with their health care providers, so they will document what the patient is feeling. Credibility is an important factor in winning a claim based on mental illness. Patients need to make sure they receive medical treatment, and the treatment is documented accurately. If a case reaches the hearing level, the medical records must not contradict the applicant’s testimony. It is a good idea to have a close friend or family member help to document your illness. If you need an advocate, call Bolingbrook Disability Law.