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Are mental health conditions eligible for SS disability?

As you are aware, mental conditions can significantly affect your ability to work and your quality of life. However, getting other people to understand this complex issue can be frustrating and sometimes nearly impossible. Employers, doctors, family, friends and others in Florida may be unwilling or unable to understand that an invisible illness can be just as devastating and debilitating as one you can see.

You may have wondered if a mental condition you suffer from can qualify for Social Security disability payments and give you some relief. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, a wide range of mental impairments can be considered for SS disability, but like physical conditions, they must meet rigorous evaluation and qualification standards.

A few of the mental health conditions that the SSA recognizes as valid disabilities include bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, autism spectrum disorder, personality and impulse-control impairments, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and age-related intellectual disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. You should know that the SSA requires people suffering from a mental health disorder to have had the impairment make them unable to work for at least 12 months, and they would have had to pay into Social Security for at least five of the past 10 years.

As part of the disability claims process, the SSA will require evidence of your illness from doctors, employers and others, as well as conduct a series of assessments to determine the severity of your condition. It is not uncommon to have the initial claim denied, although you are permitted to appeal. Since this topic is complex, this information should not replace the advice of a lawyer.

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