Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be a complex and often emotionally charged process. Many people find themselves not only grappling with the new challenges of their physical condition but also contending with the profound impact of depression and/or anxiety over their situation – all at once.
If you find yourself in that position, you need to remember to include your mental health symptoms on your disability application.
The total picture has to be considered when deciding claims
Except in rare situations where someone has a single condition that exactly meets the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) “Blue Book” definition of what it means to be disabled with a given condition, SSA has to look at the big picture.
That means the claims examiner in charge of your case will factor in all the conditions you list as contributing to your disability. Conversely, it also means that they won’t factor in anything you do not list.
You may think that it’s perfectly obvious that your illness or injury has left you suffering from depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or something similar. However, unless you actually cite your mental health condition as disabling, it will not be considered when your claim is decided.
For a lot of folks, the mind-body connection is very strong. The problems they’re having with their health and the fact they’re unable to work can easily cause depression or anxiety. This depression or anxiety can make it even harder to concentrate, keep a schedule, stay motivated, regulate their emotions and more.
It’s crucial to get a diagnosis of your mental health issue(s)
Neglecting to seek a formal mental health diagnosis and treatment can put you at a serious disadvantage when you apply for SSDI. Currently, there are more people on SSDI for mental disorders than there are people who can’t work due to injuries, diseases of the circulatory or nervous system and cancer combined, so don’t neglect that aspect of your claim.
Filing for SSDI benefits on your own has a lot of challenges, and they’re hard to manage when your health concerns are already sapping your energy. Experienced legal guidance can help.