Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tips for a Social Security Disability Claim for Mental Conditions

If you are claiming to be unable to work due to a psychiatric condition either on its own or in combination with other physical impairments, in this article you will find some helpful information on how you can be found disabled for Social Security Disability for mental illness. Let me first say, that even if your psychiatric impairment is your most severe medical condition if you have other medical conditions as well you should make sure to include these in your claim. Social Security will look at all your medical conditions when determining whether or not you can work. That being said, the focus of this article is on the mental aspect of a claim for SSD or SSI. It is extremely important when applying for Social Security disability benefits for a mental condition, that you are under the care of a psychiatrist or psychologist on a regular basis if possible. It is also important that you have a good record of following the doctors advice and take your medication as you are supposed to. It is important to have a diagnosis whether that diagnosis is depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, or any other mental diagnosis. Often times many of these conditions have similar symptoms and even overlap and you may have multiple diagnosis over a period of time. This is very common. When you have a psychiatric impairment you will definitely want to look at the medical listings of impairments for mental disorders. No matter what your diagnosis is you will want to look at all of the conditions listed to see if you may meet or equal one of these listings. If you think you do meet or equal one of the medical listings, you should take a copy to your doctor to get your doctor's opinion of whether or not you meet or equal one of the listed impairments. If your doctor feels you do you should ask them for report explaining which listing with an explanation as to why you meet or equal the listed impairment. It is important to note that is not enough to simply have a diagnosis of a mental condition in the medical listings of impairments. To be found disabled due to meeting or equaling a listing you have to have all the requirements the listing calls for. All is not lost if you do not meet or equal a listed impairment for your mental disorder. You can still be found disabled if the limitations from your psychiatric impairment would prevent first any of your past relevant work and second any other work. So you may now want to know how do you show what your limitations are from your mental impairment. The two main ways to show your mental limitations that would prevent you from working are by doctors report or by your Dr. filling out a mental RFC form. Social Security will also probably send you to an exam and they will have their own doctors assess what your mental limitations are. It is extremely important to have your own psychiatrist's opinion as to your limitations because if your treating doctors opinion is supported by the medical records and not inconsistent with those records it is supposed to be given more weight than the Social Security doctors opinions. I also want to mention if you have physical limitations it is important to remember that these limitations are considered as well and sometimes the additional limitations from my mental illness can really improve your chances of winning your case. In this article you will find several links to pages that provide additional information and should be helpful in your pursuit of winning your Social Security disability claim for mental illness. You should also visit my websites on the right of this blog for more information on Social Security Disability.