I’ve never been hospitalized for my bipolar, can I still get disability?

I’ve never been hospitalized for my bipolar, can I still get disability?

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I did quite a bit of research on this one… It was pretty interesting, too!!! I thought that you could receive disability, regardless of being in the hospital or not, and guess what??? I was right!!! Yay me!!! lol

So, I found a lot of information and data to back me up… First of all, you have to be found to have a disability… This could be quite simple-or difficult, depending on your record keeping… You have to have proof (namely doctor’s records) stating that you have been disabled, or will be disabled, for at least 12 calendar months…

A disability is defined as a condition that “Prevents claimant from achieving any type of ‘substantial gainful activity’… It must prevent you from performing duties of a previous employment, and impossible to find a new line of work due to age, education, or impairment (bipolar)” This is even with therapy, meds, or other treatments… Plus, any increase in mental demand has to send you downhill… In other words, you have to be unable to do what you were doing at your job, and unable to find a new job, even though you are in treatment…

With bipolar, there are some other criteria that must be met… One is you have to have had symptoms such as mania, depression, or a combination of both consistently… Another is that you have to have at least two of the following limitations from your BP-“severe limitation of daily activity, inability to interact with others in a normal way, or recurring episodes of decompensation which lasts for an extended period of time…” So, basically, some of the symptoms of severe BP…

There is one more stipulation in order to get disability… You have to have paid Social Security taxes for approximately 5 to 10 years… Of course, not everybody is able to have done this because of their age, so if you are 22 or under, then your parents work credits will count…
If you believe you may fit the criteria, or if you just want to see, you can take this test before going through the whole application process-http://www.socialsecurity-disability.org/content/free-evaluation-0

You have to remember, however-getting disability can be quite difficult… In fact, for first time applicants, approximately 60% are denied… Second time is 80%… This is usually due to insufficient record keeping… But don’t let those numbers discourage you!!! You still have a chance!!!
Just FYI… There is also another service through Social Security called Supplemental Security Income, in which the government also helps financially… For this, there are no work requirements… It is based off your income, such as wages and food assistant programs, as well as pensions and other benefits programs like cash savings, equity, or real estate… All this must be a combined $3000 or less per family…

I really hoped this answered some of your questions… I know this whole thing can be quite confusing, so it may help to get a public defender or a case manager or someone to help with the process… Good luck!!!

God bless

3 thoughts on “I’ve never been hospitalized for my bipolar, can I still get disability?

  1. Amazingly, in 2002 I got accepted for Social Security Disability on the first try. I couldn’t believe it. It can be done.

  2. I am currently going thru the process of trying to get my disability. I filed two years ago and got turned down. I was already going thru a severe depression episode so when I got turned down It just added to my depresion and I didnt pursue it any farther. Last april, when I got my wits about me somewhat I went and re-applied. I have already been denied again but I have filed my first appeal and am waiting to hear the answer to that. I have already retained an attorney & they have went thru all my records & they think I have a strong case. It isn’t always easy. I havent been in the hospital. But I havent been able to work since may 2008. I went thru a bad mental break down at that point and slipped into depression. in june 2009 I atempted to go back to school to learn a new trade. I went for a year. I was 5 weeks from graduating as a medical assistant. I had done great in all my classes but then they put me in clinicals. we had to go out into an office and get hands on experience. I was there two weeks and I broke again. I couldnt handle it. So I attempted to learn a new trade, and I attempted to work again. It didnt work. They still denied me the first time. and they might deny me again. But you can take it all the way to a trial. where you and your attorney will actually go in front of a judge & plead your case & he will decide your fate. Personally, I would rather do that. Because one on one I know I can show someone why I need it. Just filling out papers & sending them in to someone I dont feel like that tells them enough about me.

  3. Shari, I was accepted first time, too… I don’t remember much about it, though… I know my intensive case manager at the time did a lot to set it up for me, though…

    Angel, I really hope you can get things straightened out soon… It can be tough not being able to work and having no income… I hope it doesn’t have to get to the point of going to trial in front of a judge, but if it does, I hope you get an understanding judge who will rule in your favor… Good luck!!!

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