What are the chances of getting ssi if your are a mhmr patient with a bi polar 1 disorder?
Social Security will be looking at a few things– your diagnosis, what treatments you have tried, whether they have been successful, and whether or not you are able to work. They use a five step process.
- Are you working? “Working” means that you earn more than $1000 a month as an employee. If you are able to work, you will likely be turned down.
- Is your bipolar disorder serious enough, with treatment, that you are unable to perform basic work activities? These activities range from physical (sitting, walking, standing, lifting), basic activities of life (breathing, seeing) and things that we bipolars have trouble with- adjusting to changes in the work setting, understanding and following directions, responding appropriately to situations.
- Does your bipolar disorder satisfy their criteria? They will look at your symptoms against their list of expected symptoms. This is where your medical documentation comes in very handy. If you suffer four of the symptoms listed and have difficulty in two of the areas of basic work activities, you will likely be approved.
- Can you do work that you have done in the past? For example, if you worked in a bookstore during college, could you go back to that kind of work? If the answer is “of course not, I can barely get out of bed in the morning!” then you will likely pass this part of the process. If you could return to previous types of employment, your application might be rejected.
- Can you do ANY work whatsoever? This part is hard for me to explain, but someone at MHMR or an attorney will be more helpful. In a nutshell, they use something called “medical-vocational rules” to see if there is any sort of work that would be appropriate for you to do. If there is, then you might have a harder time being approved.
What you should take away from that list is that yes, bipolar disorder is considered a disability, but that Social Security Disability can be difficult to get. Many first-time applicants are turned down, even if their disability is listed in the manual used by SS to determine eligibility. The good news for us is that bipolar disorder in any of its manifestations is listed in the manual. The tricky part is that it requires a lot of documentation. I’m not kidding– it’s going to take A LOT of documentation. They will want to see medical records, employment history, more medical records, tax returns, basically everything you can think of relating to your disability and your employment. It requires the kind of energy that we sometimes may not have. Don’t let that discourage you– if you are no longer able to work due to bipolar, absolutely apply.
Since SSDI application is a long, arduous legal process, using the resources available to you through MHMR or hiring an attorney who specializes in SSDI might lead to your best outcome.