Let’s talk about mental health problems and how Social Security reviews them and whether you can be approved based on mental health problems.
Many people have some form of depression or mental health issues sometimes due to chronic pain, sometimes due to a genetic predisposition, sometimes due to an event in their lives, but overall, for whatever the cause, Social Security looks to see that you’re treating and getting help and perhaps medications for the problem, so an example would be disability for depression, bipolar disorder, either one or two, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, disability for fibromyalgia you may have agoraphobia as an element of that, Social Security also looks to see if there’s an element of chemical dependency in any of those.
The big idea here to keep in mind is that Social Security looks at the depression or mental health problems the same way as they look at physical problems, it’s just there is less objective evidence as there is for let’s say a low back problem. A low back problem, you can get an MRI, and you can see that there’s a herniated disc. Just because you can’t measure it with an imaging study doesn’t mean that depression isn’t just as disabling. The question is, is depression a disability and HOW are you disabled with it?
Some people work with depression or bipolar or anxiety disorder, some people can’t work. The question is severity. So keep in mind that it’s best to try to get better, the best you can, use your primary care doctor to get perhaps a psychiatrist, use a psychologist to be able to get better, take medications, but work with your doctors about side effects. Make sure that if you do have side effects, that you talk to your doctors about perhaps switching medications.
Social Security disability lawyers see some people stopping medications without talking to their doctor, so, what’s important for Social Security to know is, you’re doing your best to get better, okay, so with that in mind, Social Security reviews mental health issues, and they would include someone with low IQ in this.
If you have mental health issues like depression that affect your ability to work full time, consider applying for Social Security benefits especially if you have a good work history. The reason is this, at some juncture, mental health problems are disabling and what is the drawing line between when you are disabled and when you’re not. It isn’t always so clear, even if you’re denied at the first level and even the second level, those state agency denials are, in my opinion, quite poor. Make sure that if you know you can’t work and you have legitimate diagnosed impairments and you’re doing your best to care for them and taking your medications or having other people help you get your medications, make sure to get to a Social Security disability hearing.
If a Social Security disability attorney can help you, more the better, because if you don’t feel very well, you may not be inclined to advocate on your own behalf. So keep these things in mind that they could offer great help to prove that your mental health issue or depression is a disability, and hopefully it impresses on you that if you’re denied or don’t think that you could get approved for Social Security based on mental health problems, that is entirely inaccurate. It is a question of degree and the only way Social Security knows how bad they are it is if you treat for them.
Mental illness due to chemical imbalance
And we’ve mentioned chemical dependency. Some people have seen by Disability Attorneys in their experience, anxiety disorders and bipolar, they see chemical dependency issues arise. With that in mind, Social Security will discount how bad your mental illness is if they think the chemical dependency is exacerbating the mental illness.
Another element that they’ve learned as an attorney is that the psychologist experts at hearings will testify that your mental illness is worse because, let’s say, alcohol or drugs is reducing the effectiveness of your medication. So, if you catch what they’re saying, it definitely is healthier to talk to a doctor about any dependency but what in particular you need to do is know that Social Security will look at chemical dependency as perhaps a factor very negatively in your claim and it can in the case of mental illness cause Social Security to deny you so by all means get the help that you need.