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Getting Social Security disability benefits for mental disorders

Living with a debilitating mental illness is not easy. Those suffering from mental illness might experience periods when managing symptoms, going to work and living daily life is possible. But they may also experience long stretches of time when these tasks are simply out of the question. Social Security disability benefits can help these individuals secure the financial stability they need to survive.

When a mental illness prevents someone in Florida from working, he or she can apply for benefits from Social Security Disability Insurance -- SSDI -- or Supplemental Security Income -- SSI. Whether for a physical disability or mental illness, anyone who claims these benefits has to prove that these problems prevent them from working. Sadly, there is still a lot of stigma and lack of understanding when it comes to mental disorders, so proving that is much harder.

There are not very many tests that can accurately evaluate how severe a person's mental illness is. Since symptoms are not always consistent, a person might appear fine when applying even if he or she has spent a significant portion of the year struggling. Approval of a claim usually relies on a list of reported symptoms, physician records and even feedback from family members and friends. However, since there is that social stigma, people suffering from mental disorders may hide their symptoms, making it difficult for others to provide accurate details.

A number of mental illnesses and disorders are covered by the Social Security Administration. These include disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression and anxiety. Certain people with autism may also qualify for benefits.

Maintaining regular employment is important for many different reasons. Not only does holding down a job provide regular income, but people in Florida generally find a lot of personal satisfaction in working. When mental illness prevents someone from meeting either of those needs, securing benefits through Social Security disability may be the best solution.

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