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Obtaining SSDI for mental illness

Mental illness is a reality many Americans struggle with, and which we struggle with as a society in various ways. The number of Americans who live with mental illness of some sort is not negligible, either. According to a recent report by the National Institute of Mental Health, around 26.2 percent of adults age 18 or older suffer from a diagnosable mental illness every year. That same study found that the incidence of serious mental illness is considerably smaller, about 6 percent of the population.

The study found as well, perhaps surprisingly, that mental disorders are actually the leading cause of disability in both the United States and Canada. Mental illness, of course, can come in a variety of forms, from mood disorders and mild depression to things like bipolar, schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder. Among all mental illnesses, anxiety disorders are found to be the most common. 

Anxiety disorders, which include things like panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and various phobias, can certainly impact an individual’s ability to live normally and work gainfully. For those who experience a severe degree of anxiety related impairment, Social Security disability benefits may be available, and it is a good idea to look into it.

There are a couple ways one can qualify for SSDI based on an anxiety disorder. The first way is to qualify under an entry in the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments. In the case of anxiety disorders, there is a category specifically dedicated to such impairments. Providing adequate medical evidence to meet the conditions listed in one of the entries is one way to qualify. Another is to obtain a medical vocational allowance, which is a determination of disability based on various factors. Sometimes medical vocations allowances are granted because of the presence of multiple impairments which alone do not meet the requirements of a listing.

Those with any serious mental illness should certainly consider speaking with an experienced SSDI attorney to have their case evaluated and for help in putting together a solid application.

Source: Tech Times, “1 in 4 U.S. adults suffer diagnosable mental health disorder in a given year,” Michael McEnaney, May 27, 2014.Social Security Administration, Disability Evaluation Under Social Security—mental disorders,” Accessed June 3, 2014. 

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