SSDI And SSI For Depression, Anxiety And Bipolar Disorder
In some cases, it is simple for people to prove that they need Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. They have a visible disability that makes it easy for everyone to see that they are going to have difficulty working. In other cases, including claims related to anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, the condition isn’t as obvious.
At Chermol & Fishman, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience representing claimants for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and we put that experience to work for our clients. We have found success in hearings and appeals because we know how to cross-examine SSA vocational experts to establish that the mental disorder prevents our client from working.
We guide people with mental illnesses and conditions through the application process, helping them file initial claims, completing questionnaires or appeals of denied or refused claims. We can frequently identify mental conditions that had not been addressed previously. We also can recommend people be evaluated or treated for their mental health conditions in order to help win their cases.
How Well Do You Function Despite The Challenges You Face?
In order for a person to receive SSDI or SSI benefits because of mental disabilities, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, mental retardation or other mental conditions, he or she must prove not only that an impairment exists, but that it also exists at a level so severe that it is disabling, which can be especially challenging.
Many people struggle with depression or anxiety, but they are able to work. Others struggle with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other mental conditions so severe that they are unable to go anywhere – even to the doctor for help. They are left without medical records of their mental health problems. The Social Security Administration looks at their records and decides that there is no proof that the impairment exists.
What We Do To Help
As an experienced Social Security Disability team, we can and do ask that people be evaluated by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for mental illnesses and conditions even where there are no records already existing, though this is not a substitute for getting mental health treatment as a timeline of treatment with lack of significant improvement in functioning remains the best way to win a claim for disability based upon mental health impairments.
As an experienced legal team, we know these common pitfalls, and we help our clients put their SSDI applications forward in the best manner possible. We are prepared to do what is necessary to help our clients, including cross-examining SSA vocational experts if it can help establish that your mental disorder is preventing you from working.
What We Tell Our Clients
The best piece of advice that we often give is to be honest with your doctor and therapist about the symptoms of your mental illness. Your doctor or therapist will probably start your office visit by asking you how you’re doing. It can feel like a reflex to automatically say “fine” or “OK” – even if you aren’t doing well at all. You can’t say that if you expect to be found disabled!
When your doctor or therapist asks you how you’re doing, tell him or her the truth. Tell your doctor about your symptoms and struggles and how they impact your life. This is critical to you getting the help you need, but it is also critical to your medical record. People who are doing “okay,” “alright,” “fine” and the like should be able to work and will likely not be found disabled. The Social Security Administration reviews medical records very carefully, and people whose medical records consistently reflect their struggles with severe symptoms from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other mental health issues have an easier time getting the benefits they need.
Start Your Conversation With Us Today
Whether you are making an initial application for benefits or your claim has been denied, we can assist you with your SSDI or SSI claim. Contact our firm today for a free consultation with an attorney if you are in the Philadelphia area or eastern and south-central Pennsylvania. We also help clients nationwide, with additional offices in New Jersey, Texas, Florida, Kentucky and Illinois. Call Chermol & Fishman, LLC, at 215-795-4448.