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Friday, October 1, 2010

Social Security Disability- Mental Health disorder

Social Security will look at all your medical conditions when determining whether or not you are disabled. It is extremely important when you are applying for Social Security Disability benefits because you have a mental condition, that you be under the care of a therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist on a regular basis. To often Claimants will have a mental disorder and only see their primary care doctor. That is not sufficient to help you establish a mental condition. Just because your primary care physician gives you medication for a mental disorder, does not mean the SSA will find that you are disabled. You need to have some specific evidence of a mental disorder. 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, post-traumatic stress disorder, 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. 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 meet a listing, you should ask them for report explaining which listing and an explanation as to why you meet or equal the listed impairment. It is important to note that it 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 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 a doctors report or by your doctor completing a Mental Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire. Social Security will also probably send you to a mental health examination 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.
There are nine categories that the SSA uses to assess mental disorders and approve or deny benefits. If your ability to work is impeded by one of the following disorders, you may be eligible to apply for benefits:

1. Organic Mental Disorders: Characterized by mental and behavioral dysfunction, stemming from an organic factor, that is repetitive and/or a deteriorating condition. Specifically, these disorders cause changes or corrosion of normal cognitive function.

2. Schizophrenic, Paranoid, and Other Psychotic Disorders: Typically marked by psychotic episodes, including hallucinations, incoherence, or emotional withdrawal.

3. Affective Disorders: Conditions with marked mood disturbances. Mood disturbances could be manifested as depressive or manic episodes, or a combination of the two.

4.Mental Retardation: Stunted developmental or intellectual growth, characterized by the inability to care for themselves or otherwise function independently.

5.Anxiety-Related Disorders: Manifestations of anxieties, usually including issues like intense phobias, panic attacks, obsessions, and compulsions.

6. Somatoform Disorders: Disorders for which no physical cause can be found, but that persistently hinder the ability for the sufferer to lead a normal life. Symptoms may present themselves or may be perceived by the sufferer.

7. Personality Disorders: Marked by personality traits that resist adaptation. Traits can be mood disturbances, thought processes, or other traits like hostility, paranoia, or dependence. The disorder must not be limited to infrequent episodes, but a long-term impediment in the individual’s life.

8.Substance Addiction Disorders: Affectations or changes stemming from substance abuse or addiction.

9. Autistic Disorder or Other Developmental Disorders: Marked by impaired development, usually in the realms of communication, imagination, and social interaction.

Call your Michigan Social Security Disability attorneys today at 1-866-540-0677 to help you file for Social Security Disability benefits if you suffer from a physical or mental illness. If you are in Macomb County, Oakland County, Wayne County or anywhere else in Michigan and need help with your Social Security Disability case, contact our office at . You can also visit our website at

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