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What evidence is needed for SSD benefits due to mental illness?

| Jun 7, 2018 | Social Security Disability |

For Ohioans who are injured or suffer an illness that is easily diagnosed through testing and examination, getting Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits will be a relatively straightforward process. For those suffering from a more difficult to see and understand issue, like mental illness, it is not as easy.

That, however, does not make the problems the person is dealing with any less severe. In many instances, mental illness can have more lingering effects than physical conditions. For people who are suffering from mental illness and along with that face an inability to work, understanding the evidence the Social Security Administration will need to come to a decision is critical.

With any mental disorder, whether it is due to trauma, a neurodevelopmental disorder, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, bipolar, schizophrenia or anything else, there must be evidence. Medical sources, such as a physician, a psychologist or other providers, can give the symptoms, the medical history, results of tests, diagnoses, medications given, the effect of the medications and treatment, therapy, its duration and effectiveness, side effects, clinical assessments, observations and the duration of the symptoms along with the duration.

People who know the person can also provide evidence. Since those who are familiar with the person can give statements as to how their issues affect their daily functioning, what their symptoms are and how the treatment helps them or not. This can include family, friends, caregivers, neighbors and many more. If the person attends school, works, takes part in vocational training or other work-related programs, this too can be utilized to come to a decision. Useful is also longitudinal medical evidence and non-medical evidence. This means that the observations of the person can show how the mental illness hinders their ability to function and gives proof that SSD benefits are needed.

For many people who are suffering from mental disorders, being in non-supportive or unfamiliar situations with different demands on them can lead to episodes. Many jobs require people to be able to handle these circumstances.

If they cannot and in combination with the other evidence, it is possible that they will be approved for SSD benefits. Mental illness is just one category of many for which a person can be approved for SSD benefits.

Often, people are denied not because they do not warrant benefits, but also because there was a mistake in the application process. Having legal help from the beginning can ensure all the necessary information is provided so the case will be judged on its merits. Even if it is denied, there are multiple levels of appeal. A legal professional experienced in all areas of Social Security disability can help.