When people think about applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), they often think in terms of physical illnesses or injuries. However, there are plenty of people who suffer from psychological problems without an accompanying physical disability that can still benefit from SSDI or SSI. But can a psychological disorder alone really qualify you for Social Security disability benefits?
Qualifying For SSDI and SSI With a Psychological Disorder
In order to qualify for either SSDI or SSI benefits, you must have a qualifying disability that prevents you from being able to work or handle normal daily tasks, such as cleaning, cooking, or dressing yourself. However, that disability does not need to be physical in nature, and a sufficiently disabling psychological disorder can qualify you for disability benefits. The key factor is the extent to which your condition impairs your ability to function.
Why Not Every Psychological Disorder Will Qualify
Unfortunately, not everyone with a diagnosed psychological disorder will qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. For it to qualify, it must not only cause sufficient impairment that it prevents someone from engaging in gainful employment or performing daily tasks. It must also be unmanageable despite following prescribed treatment from a licensed therapist or medical professional. This means that if you fail to seek medical attention for your condition or fail to follow your prescribed treatment, you could be denied benefits.
The Process of Applying for Disability Benefits
Applying for Social Security disability benefits as a result of a psychological disorder is the same as it is for applying for a physical disability. Like with any other disability, you must fill out an application and submit it to the Social Security Administration (SSA), then undergo an interview with a case evaluator. If you pass the interview, you will then be screened by a medical examiner at Disability Determination Services (DDS), who will conduct an independent evaluation of your condition. If you get through all of these steps, you may receive SSDI or SSI benefits.
Should You Apply for SSDI or SSI?
If you suffer from a physical or psychological condition that is substantially affecting your ability to work or perform daily tasks, it may be worth considering applying for SSDI or SSI benefits. To know what may work best for you, however, you should speak to a lawyer with experience handling Social Security disability claims. They can work with you to make sure you are in the best position possible for your disability claim, and help argue on your behalf if your application is denied.
If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.