Mental Health Claims

The Social Security Administration's Medical Listing of Impairments includes several mental health disorders, including depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia and others. However, just because you have a listed impairment does not mean you are automatically awarded Social Security Disability benefits.

Attorney David Shore understands the disability process and the intricacies of the Medical Listings, particularly those involving mental health. He and his team will work with you to make sure your rights are represented.

Qualifying For Disability Benefits

In addition to listing particular qualifying impairments, the Social Security Administration (SSA) describes specific requirements for each listing. You must pay particular attention to these requirements, because all of the individual symptoms must be met.

To make things even more complicated, you may have what is called an equal to a listing. This means you could be found to meet the SSA's definition of "disabled" if you do not have a listed impairment, but the condition must be "equal" to an impairment on the list.

The Importance Of Medical Records

A person's symptoms rarely match identically with the Medical Listing of Impairments. Therefore, a complete and detailed portfolio of your medical records — including doctor's evaluations, lab results and a log of medicines taken — is necessary to provide a complete picture of your condition.

It is equally as important that the information appear in the format and language the SSA expects, something our firm can help you with.

A Case Study: Bipolar Disorder

For example, if you have bipolar disorder, the SSA will look carefully at the medical evidence to determine whether the condition prevents you from working. It will look for issues such as:

  • A mood disturbance
  • A period of manic depression following the mood disturbance

However, depending on the nature of the mood disturbance, different numbers of manic periods are required. To claim benefits, these episodes must result in:

  • A serious restriction on your ability to perform basic daily activities
  • Be expected to last at least 12 months (one year)

If these specific criteria are not met nor backed up by evidence, your claim could be denied.

We Are Ready To Help You

If you cannot work, you may have a legitimate claim of disability. However, if it is not presented properly, you will be denied. The Law Office of David M. Shore works hard to prevent that from happening. Call us in Oceanside at 760-477-1180 to schedule a free case evaluation by phone or in person with our lawyer.