Social Security Disability (SSD) pays benefits to individuals who are disabled because of mental health issues, as well as by physical illness or injury.
SSD applicants with mental health issues must demonstrate that their medically determinable mental illness keeps them from performing any substantial gainful activity (paid work), and that is has lasted or can be expected to last for at least 12 months or lead to their death. They must show that their mental health issues prevent them from doing the work they did before, and that they are unable to adjust to new work because of their mental illness.
Many individuals with mental health issues may benefit from assistance with an SSD benefits application. The attorneys of Ginarte, O’Dwyer, Gonzalez, Gallardo, Verchick & Winograd, L.L.P., offer experienced legal help with SSD claims for New Jersey and New York residents with disabling mental health issues.
Metal Disorders Covered by Social Security Disability
The Social Security Administration (SSA) specifically addresses mental health issues that qualify for SSD benefits in its Listing of Impairments, also known as the Blue Book. They include:
- Organic mental disorders (brain damage from injury or illness).
- Schizophrenia, paranoia and other psychotic disorders.
- Affective disorders (including manic and/or depressive syndromes).
- Intellectual disability (verbal, performance or full-scale IQ of 59 or less, or of 60 to 70, plus another limiting mental or physical impairment).
- Anxiety-related disorders (compulsions, obsessions or phobias).
- Personality disorders (causing either significant impairment in social or occupational functioning or subjective distress).
- Substance addiction disorders (alcoholism or drug addiction).
- Autism, autistic spectrum disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders (including Asperger’s syndrome).
- Somatoform disorders (mental disorders for which there are no demonstrable organic findings or known physiological causes).
The SSA’s Listing of Impairments for Children is essentially the same as the Blue Book listings for adults, adding developmental or emotional disorders of infancy as evidenced by a deficit or lag in motor, cognitive/communicative or social functioning.
Applicants may also qualify for benefits by showing that their mental illness is equal in severity to a condition listed in the Blue Book if it does not otherwise match a listed impairment.
An application declaring disability due to mental health issues must include qualified medical evidence of the disability, just as for a physical disability, as well as other personal and job history information.
The SSA’s claim examiners may also request that the applicant undergo an additional medical examination (at no cost to the applicant), and the applicant must comply with this request for the claim to move forward.
Contact Our NY & NJ Attorneys About Mental Health Issues and SSD
Disabling mental health issues can pose an extreme challenge to applicants for Social Security Disability benefits, as well as to family members trying to assist them. At the Ginarte Law Firm, our lawyers have the experience, compassion and dedication necessary to help you get the SSD benefits that you deserve.
- Listing of Impairments – Adult Listings (Part A), Social Security Administration
- Listing of Impairments – Childhood Listings (Part B), Social Security Administration