Are you unable to work due to a mental disability? If so, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. Many Los Angeles area residents receive Social Security benefits due to a mental illness. As we continue to decrease the stigma associated with severe impairments, more people can benefit from Social Security benefits. However, winning a social security mental impairment claim is tough and can be more complex than a physical impairment claim.
Applicants must prove that their mental impairment prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). At Disability Advocates Group, we have helped many Los Angeles area residents with mental impairments obtain the benefits they deserve. We understand that applying for benefits is complicated, and we will assist you every step of the way. We don’t charge a client unless we win.
Common Mental Health Impairments Eligible for Social Security Disability
The experienced Social Security disability lawyers at Disability Advocates Group have obtained compensation for clients with a wide range of impairments. If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with any of the following mental impairments and you’re unable to work, you may qualify for benefits:
- Dual diagnosis disorders, such as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Brain injuries that cause cognitive defects, mood swings, and personality changes
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Low IQ
- Eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia
- Mood disorders
- Major and clinical depression
- Bipolar disorder and bipolar II (manic-depressive)
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Personality disorders
The Benefits of Working With a Lawyer for Your Mental Impairment Claim
Social Security claims examiners have been tougher when evaluating mental impairment claims. There is a perception that it’s easier for applicants to falsely claim that they have a mental impairment than a physical impairment. For that reason, submitting a claim for social security benefits based on a mental impairment can be more difficult. At Disability Advocates Group, we believe our clients when they tell us that their mental impairments make everyday tasks, including going to work, extremely challenging or impossible.
We know how to gather evidence that will help our clients secure the benefits they deserve. Documenting mental impairment can be more challenging than physical impairments because there aren’t as many objective diagnostic tests. For example, an MRI report can tell the examiner the severity of an applicant’s back injury. On the contrary, there are no blood tests or X-rays that will show how severe an applicant’s anxiety or depression is and how it affects them.
Qualifying for Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration uses a guidebook called the Blue Book to determine which types of mental impairments qualify for social security benefits. There are many different types of mental impairments that are eligible for benefits. However, the applicant must prove that their mental impairment prevents them from gainful work regularly. If your mental impairment isn’t listed in the Blue Book, you can still qualify for benefits as long as you show that your impairment is as severe as other mental disorders listed in the Blue Book. Your mental disorder must meet several requirements, including the following:
- A medical doctor has diagnosed your mental disorder
- A medical doctor has prescribed you a treatment program
- Your mental disorder prevents you from performing all work you have previously performed within the last fifteen years
- Your mental disorder prevents you from being able to perform other types of available work
- Your mental disorder must have lasted or be expected to last at least 12 consecutive months
Establishing The Severity of Your Impairment
Social Security claims examiners must depend on the applicant’s description of their symptoms. At Disability Advocates Group, we will help you fully and accurately describe how your mental impairment affects your life. We will sit down with you and ask a question to learn about the severity of your condition. We will help you describe your impairment to the claims examiner. For example, we may ask you the following questions to understand how your impairment affects your ability to work:
- Do you have recurring nightmares that make it difficult for you to sleep?
- Do you have challenges interacting with your family, authority figures, or coworkers?
- Are you so depressed that you cannot get out of bed in the morning?
- Does your anxiety make it difficult or impossible for you to go out in public?
- Do you have panic attacks due to your anxiety?
- Do you experience paranoia that makes it difficult for you to go out?
- Does your mental impairment make it difficult for you to concentrate on finishing a task?
- Do your symptoms make it impossible for you to hold a full-time job?
You may have one or more disorders listed in the Blue Book and still not qualify for benefits. Many people can still work effectively after being diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, agoraphobia, or depression. Even if you are limited in some capacity with work, the Social Security Administration may still deny your claim.
You will need to show that the symptoms you experience from your disorder are so severe that you cannot work in your current type of job or any other job. Our lawyers can help you do that by explaining all of your limitations in your application and during your disability hearing.
Contact a Los Angeles Mental Impairment Lawyer Today
At Disability Advocates Group, we have secured benefits for Los Angeles area residents with anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and behavioral disorders. We have successfully assisted clients with a wide range of mental impairments and illnesses. If you or your loved one or unable to work due to mental impairment, you may be entitled to monthly Social Security benefits. Contact our Los Angeles area Social Security benefits lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation.