The Social Security Disability
Experts Since 1984

Disability Benefits for Mental Health – Affective Disorders

Why is A Mood Disorder A Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to provide benefits to individuals who are suffering from disabilities and are unable to take part in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA). Many people who file disability claims are affected by physical disorders, however, others are affected by mental illnesses and mental disorders.

Affective disorders, or mood disorders, are one of the many mental disorders that can qualify an individual for disability benefits, under specific circumstances. Determining whether or not someone qualifies for disability benefits under the Mental Disorders section in the Blue Book, and specifically the mood disorders category of that section, can be difficult, and proving that an individual’s mood disorder prevents them from earning a living wage is even more tricky.

Social Security Disability for Affective Disorders – Filing A Claim

In order to be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits with a mood disorder, a proper diagnosis from a medical professional is absolutely required. However, mood disorders are often more difficult to document than other mental disorders. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for approving and denying disability claims, and they require medical evidence, as well as other supporting evidence, to approve disability claims filed under affective disorders.

Gathering and supplying this evidence to the SSA is a time consuming, complicated process, which is why hiring a qualified attorney who knows the ins and outs of filing for SSDI benefits is essential to improving the credibility of a claim.

Common Affective Disorders Approved for Disability Benefits

Filing a claim to receive benefits for a mental health disability, such as a mood disorder, can be absolutely vital for individuals suffering from extreme symptoms and side effects. The SSA uses what is known as the Blue Book to define disabilities and disorders that qualify for SSDI. The Mental Disorders category is a broad category that includes various forms of mental disorders, such as anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, and more.

Obtaining a specific diagnosis for an affective mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder, is necessary to file a claim successfully.

Some examples of mood disorders include:

  • Bipolar Disorders
  • Cyclothymic Disorder
  • Depression
  • Dysthymic Disorder
  • Mood Disorder due to a General Medical Condition
  • Substance-Induced Mood Disorder
  • Panic Disorders
  • Phobias
  • Mood Disorder Not Otherwise Specified

If you are suffering from a mood disorder, the condition itself can cause either minor or severe symptoms. However, in order to qualify for SSDI, your mood disorder must significantly impact your life and wellbeing, prevent you from earning a living wage, and taking care of yourself.

To prove the severity of your condition, you must provide evidence that supports the claim that your condition affects your ability to work, perform daily tasks, concentrate, and maintain social functioning. Symptoms of your disorder must also have been present for at least one year, or be expected to last for at least one year. Additionally, medical evidence of past and current treatment(s) for your condition will further support your claim.

Contact Peña & Bromberg – Your Social Security Disability Attorneys in California

If you are struggling to apply for Social Security Disability benefits with an affective disorder, or your claim has already been denied, contact the disability attorneys at Peña & Bromberg today for legal advice and expert representation you can trust.

Most initial disability claims are denied, but when you apply for SSDI with the help of an experienced attorney, you receive a much better chance at being approved. Our team is always available to help you fight for the benefits you need, so reach out to us today to request a free consultation.

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