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How Do You Win A Disability Case for Mental Illness?

couple talking to a therapist

Winning a disability case for mental illness can be difficult because you do not have the same type of medical evidence available you might for a physical ailment. There are no X-rays or scans or laboratory tests to confirm most mental health concerns. Instead, you must rely on notes from your doctor, the outcome of treatments, and other evidence.

In the same way that the Social Security Administration publishes a list of impairment listings and criteria to qualify for physical ailments, the Blue Book contains a section for mental health disorders. If your mental illness prevents you from earning the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit on a monthly basis, and you meet the criteria under the applicable section, you should get approved for benefits.

In the Blue Book, each section includes the evidence necessary to qualify based on that diagnosis. Your application information and medical records will need to prove you meet the criteria to get benefits based on the impairment listing.

You can get disability for mental illness without meeting the qualifications under an impairment listing as well. You will, however, need to show that your condition prevents you from working and earning a living. A residual functional capacity assessment proves this for you. This assessment considers:

  • Your training, education, experience, and age
  • Your ability to work any job you might qualify for
  • How long you can work
  • How often you can work

If you cannot work your previous job or any other job often enough to earn at least the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit, and you meet all other qualifications, you will likely get approved for Social Security Disability (SSD).

At Kalfus & Nachman, we can help you prepare and file your claim, or file an appeal if they deny your initial application.

How a Social Security Attorney Can Help

Whether you’re preparing your first SSDI application, submitting your claim for Reconsideration or appealing a rejected claim, you have a greater chance of success with the help of a knowledgeable lawyer.

Attorneys at Kalfus & Nachman PC understand the complex SSDI application process and the information necessary to receive approval while maximizing the financial support you need for your condition. We also have a thorough knowledge of the appeals process and can help you assemble the additional information necessary to bolster your claim if you’ve been denied.

If you live in the Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach or Roanoke, Virginia, areas and need assistance filing your SSDI application or making an appeal, please contact Kalfus & Nachman PC by phone at (855) 880-8163 or through the form on this page to schedule a free consultation.

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