A disability does not always have to be physical in order to qualify for Social Security disability insurance benefits. The Social Security Administration's blue book lists many mental health conditions that are recognized as disabilities. The true test of SSDI eligibility is the degree to which a disability impairs an individual's ability to work. It is not merely the diagnosis.
Unfortunately, many Americans wrongly assume that mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorder or depression, are not as serious as physical disabilities. Individuals who have experienced less serious forms of anxiety might not understand that there are more serious and debilitating forms of the condition. Others might simply have a hard time acknowledging or understanding the severity of conditions with fewer, if any, visible symptoms.
The bias against anxiety and other mental health conditions may even exist at the SSA. According to a recent story, SSA officials have suspended disability benefits to hundreds of individuals who were former clients of an attorney suspected of facilitating fraudulent claims. Many of the clients, located in Appalachia, had qualified under mental health disorders.
In one example, a 41-year-old man with a bad back and an anxiety disorder lost his monthly payments. That led to losing his house and possessions. Other former SSDI recipients have had similar experiences and have been forced to live out of their motor vehicles. Still others have committed suicide.
At the Disability Benefits Law Center, P.C., we understand the obstacles that individuals with mental health conditions may face. Those challenges may manifest in daily obstacles that make it impossible to perform the work duties of one's former position or of a comparable position. There may be other challenges as well, such as being unable to care for one's family. Individuals in this situation should consult with a law firm that focuses on disability benefits. Call our toll free number at 1-866-886-0660 for a free consultation.
Source: KXII, "Tangled in fraud probe, 100s face loss of Social Security disability checks," Claire Galofaro, Dec. 29, 2016