Bipolar disorder is a medical condition that causes an individual to experience extreme mood changes. Every year, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with bipolar disorder and become unable to hold employment or work because of their debilitating symptoms. When an individual can no longer work due to bipolar disorder, he or she may qualify for social security benefits.
Discuss Your Case With a Las Vegas Disability Attorney
If you or your loved one cannot work due to a bipolar disorder diagnosis, you may be entitled to monthly compensation through the Social Security Administration. Qualifying for benefits isn’t always easy, especially regarding mental health disorders. Working with the experienced attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas will increase the likelihood that your application for benefits will be approved. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.
Medical Eligibility for Social Security Benefits with Bipolar Disorder
In most cases, doctors diagnose bipolar disorder based on the patient’s self-reported experiences. They may check in with the patient’s family members, friends, and colleagues to discuss behavioral abnormalities. Other symptoms will corroborate these observations. Most of the time, diagnosis occurs on an outpatient basis. Due to the somewhat subjective nature of diagnosing bipolar disorder, it can be difficult to prove that the disorder is medically qualifying.
For an individual with bipolar disorder to qualify for benefits, they must show that they don’t have the ability to function in a work environment due to ongoing symptoms of bipolar disorder. The applicant needs to be eligible for disability benefits and needs to have received a medical-vocational disability endorsement due to his or her inability to work at any job.
Applicants with bipolar disorder need to submit documentation that they have a history of consistent and symptomatic manic episodes, depressive syndromes, or a combination of both. They also need to show that their bipolar disorder results in two or more of the following restrictions:
- Inability to interact with others in a normal way
- Severe limitation of daily activity, or
- Recurring episodes of decompensation, which last for an extended period
What If I Don’t Meet the Criteria in the Blue Book for Bipolar Disorder?
If you don’t meet these criteria as outlined in the Social Security administration’s Blue Book, it is possible that you can still qualify. A section in the Blue Book states that any person with a medical history of at least two years of a chronic affective disorder can qualify for benefits. Bipolar disorder is included in the section. Even if you have the support of medication, you can still qualify for benefits due to your bipolar disorder when:
- The disorder limits your capacity to perform basic work actions, even when your symptoms are controlled with medication and psychosocial support
- Your condition has led to persistent decompensation, or
- Even a nominal boost in mental demands will cause you to decompensate
You also need to show that you are incapable of functioning outside of a supportive livelihood for any foreseeable duration due to bipolar disorder. If you meet all of these qualifications, you have a good chance of becoming eligible for SSDI or SSI benefits. Still, if you don’t meet these requirements, you may be able to apply based on your remaining functional capacity, age, and education. For example, if a person’s mental residual functioning is very limited and he or she cannot meet the demands of a basic routine, he or she may still qualify for a medical vocational disability allowance.
Bipolar Disorder Medication Compliance
Those applying for social security benefits based on bipolar disorder need to show that they are medication compliant. You will need to show that you have attempted to use all of the treatments your doctor has given you, including taking your prescription medication as directed and attending therapy. When an applicant isn’t using his or her prescribed medications correctly, the Social Security Administration will deny the case. They will assume that the medication could potentially allow the applicant to work. There is an exception for applicants who try to use medication but experience negative side effects.
Applying for SSDI Benefits
As you can see, qualifying for disability benefits with bipolar disorder is complex. The application process can be intimidating. Working with a social security disability attorney will be in your best interest. Our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients with a wide range of mental health impairments.
We know what kind of documentation and paperwork our clients need to show that their bipolar disorder prohibits them from working. We will help you with every step of the process, including completing your application. Many applications are denied because they don’t include all the required information or they have errors. We will ensure that you submit a comprehensive and accurate application, giving you the best chance possible of success.
Appealing a Denial of Social Security Benefits
If you receive a notice stating that your claim for disability benefits has been denied, you are not alone. The Social Security Administration denies the majority of first-time applications. You will need to submit a request for reconsideration within 60 days of receiving your denial. If your request for reconsideration is denied, you can request a disability hearing before an administrative law judge. One of our attorneys will represent you at the hearing, presenting evidence and asking the vocational expert questions to demonstrate the full extent of your disability and how it prohibits you from working.
Contact a Social Security Disability Attorney Today
Demonstrating that a mental disorder, such as bipolar disorder, is disabling enough to qualify you for social security benefits. Working with an experienced attorney is one of the best ways to prove that you are entitled to SSDI or SSI benefits. The attorneys at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas are prepared to review your case during your free initial consultation. We will handle every aspect of your bipolar disorder case, from the application to potential appeals, so that you can focus on your help. Contact us today to schedule your free case evaluation.