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Mental illness can cause a social security disability

Pennsylvanian mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety and depression, can be every bit as damaging to a person as a physical illness or injury. Each can make it difficult for a person in Philadelphia to perform his or her duties at work, or even leave the house altogether. The daily struggle for people with a mental illness is all too real and debilitating.

Unfortunately, sometimes, these disorders can be difficult to prove, particularly when applying for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Not only must the condition exist, but it also must be so severe that it renders the person disabled. In many cases, the Social Security Administration will evaluate a person's medical records when deciding whether to award benefits. If a person is so affected by their mental illness that he or she cannot even leave their home to visit his or her doctor, this could be difficult.

That is why, if a person decides to visit his or her physician for treatment for his or her mental illness, it is imperative that the person is 100 percent truthful. While a person's knee-jerk reaction when asked how they are doing is to say, "fine," if that is not the truth, the person may not receive the medical help they need.

It is important not only for a person to tell the physician about his or her physical symptoms, but also how his or her illness affects his or her daily life. Having one's medical records reflect not only his or her symptoms, but also how those symptoms may keep him or her from working, can be helpful when seeking benefits.

Another important step may be seeking legal help with the SSD application process. Attorney Jeffrey S. Lichtman is experienced in helping clients with mental illnesses who are seeking disability benefits. He also has experience assisting clients whose initial claims have been denied. He may recommend that his clients seek medical evaluation or treatment, which could be a critical aspect of that client's case.

Mental illnesses often will not simply "go away." These illnesses often require medical help, and they can be so severe as to cause a disability. If this is the case, reading the following mental health disability overview may be the first step for a person suffering from such an illness to take.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee