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Disability Lawyer > Blog > Social Security Disability > Bipolar Disorder And SSDI Benefits: 5 Things To Know

Bipolar Disorder And SSDI Benefits: 5 Things To Know


Many people who receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments are eligible due to a disabling mental condition or disorder. While a common assumption is that a disability involves a physically disabling condition, it is critical for anyone receiving or seeking benefits to know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) definition of a disability can include a disabling mental condition or disease. To be sure, there are psychological disabilities, and these types of disabling conditions are just as valid and real as any physical condition that meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. If you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, or if you suspect you have bipolar disorder, what do you need to know about seeking SSDI benefits? The following are five things you should know.

  1. Bipolar Disorder is Specifically Listed in the SSA Blue Book 

You should know that bipolar disorder is specifically listed in Section 12.00 of the SSA Blue Book as a disabling condition. More specifically, Section 12.04 identifies bipolar disorder as a disabling condition when it is characterized by at least three of the following, cited as follows in the Blue Book:

  • Pressured speech;
  • Flight of ideas;
  • Inflated self-esteem;
  • Decreased need for sleep;
  • Distractibility;
  • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized; or
  • Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation.
  1. Bipolar Disorder Can Be Disabling Based on the Definition the SSA Uses 

Beyond the description supplied above from the Blue Book, it is important to keep in mind that bipolar disorder can often meet the definition of a disability used by the SSA for determining SSDI and SSI eligibility regardless, meaning that it prevents a person from engaging in substantial gainful activity for at least one year.

  1. You May Be Eligible to Receive SSDI Benefits If You Meet the Other Requirements 

To be eligible for SSDI benefits based on having bipolar disorder, you will need to meet the other requirements of showing that you have a sufficient work record to qualify. A person must work long enough, and for enough time, to accrue enough work credits to qualify for SSDI payments.

  1. You Will Need to Have Medical Documentation 

When you seek SSDI benefits for bipolar disorder, you will need a medical diagnosis and accompanying medical documentation.

  1. Your Lawyer Can Help with an Initial Claim or an Appeal 

Many people who file for SSDI benefits following a bipolar disorder diagnosis are denied benefits because of a minor error in their application or due to a lack of essential documentation. In order to prevent a denial of benefits when your eligibility is clear, you should work with a lawyer on your SSDI application from the start. Yet do not worry if you have already been denied benefits. Our attorneys can help you to appeal, and you may be eligible to receive SSDI payments despite the original denial of benefits. The appeals process must go in a particular order, beginning with a reconsideration. Your request for reconsideration must occur quickly after a denial, so do not delay in seeking legal help.

Contact a National SSDI Lawyer Today 

If you have questions about seeking SSDI benefits due to bipolar disorder, or if you need assistance with your initial application or an appeal, you should seek advice from our experienced national SSDI attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz as soon as possible.



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