Do you suffer from a mental illness like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia? Has the condition restricted your ability to work and support yourself? If so, you may want to apply for Social Security Disability. The Social Security Administration has listed dozens of mental conditions that are eligible for disability benefits. However, the standard for benefits approval is sometimes higher for mental conditions than it is for visibly obvious physical conditions. This is partly because the symptoms for your mental illness may not always be evident and because Social Security examiners may not understand the full scope of your condition. Here are three tips to help you get your application approved:
Get documentation from your physician and from a mental health professional. Don't assume that your Social Security application reviewer will understand your condition. Even though your condition may be on The Social Security's official list of approved conditions, that doesn't mean your application will be approved. The reviewer must feel that your condition is so severe that it prevents you from working in a full-time, self-supporting capacity.
The reviewer will be more likely to understand the severity of your condition if your application includes a credible, written statement from qualified medical professionals. If you don't have a physician or psychiatrist to write a letter, make appointments as soon as possible with a doctor so you can start to establish a relationship.
Ask coworkers, family members, and friends to write letters. Again, Social Security isn't necessarily looking for a medical diagnosis of your condition. They're more interested in how the condition has impacted your ability to work. Your former coworkers, employers, and your friends may be the best people to make that argument. This is especially true if they've seen outbursts, emotional breakdowns, or other severe symptoms. Ask them to write letters detailing their experiences with you and include those letters in your application. If you get rejected and have to appeal, you can then ask those coworkers and friends to testify at the hearing.
Be honest and accurate. Social Security reviewers are trained to look for exaggerations and outright lies. If they detect that you inflated the severity of your condition, they may be more inclined to decline your application. This is especially true in a mental health case because your symptoms may not be obvious. If your condition really is so severe that you can't work, then your experiences should speak for themselves. Don't feel the need to exaggerate your condition or use hyperbolic language. Instead, be honest, direct, and factual on your application.
For more information, talk to a Social Security Disability lawyer. They can guide you through the process and help you get approved.
To learn more, talk to a law firm like Connor Law.