Q How do I prove my mental disorder is incapacitating enough to deserve disability?
Over the past few months your depression and anxiety has become completely out of control. You’ve suffered these disorders your entire life—or at least as long as you can remember—but you’ve always been able to keep them under control with medication and therapy. However, for some reason, you’ve been experiencing severe panic attacks at work lately, and you’ve called in seven times in the past three months because you couldn’t make yourself get out of bed. Your boss has already warned you that if there is one more issue, he’ll have to fire you.
After talking to your therapist, you decided to apply for disability. However, after waiting several months for a reply, you were denied. The letter claimed that you didn’t provide substantial evidence to prove that your disorder keeps you from working.
What does that even mean? What kind of evidence were you supposed to include? What are your options now?
Proving Your Claim
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 2.5 million mental disability claims are filed to the Social Security Administration (SSA) each year in the United States. However, many of these claims are denied due to the improper documentation and evidence pertaining to the severity of the claimant’s disorder. Considering that serious mental illnesses are just as entitled to disability payments as serious physical illnesses, properly filled out claims are essential. Otherwise, sufferers could wind up being denied their rightful benefits of up to $900 a month and receiving Medicare.
The SSA recommends that before filing, you and your disability attorney verify the following information: documentation and evidence of your disorder’s work-related functional limitations. Providing this data will help you avoid timely delays and wrongful claim denials.
Data needed includes:
- Specific symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings to prove your disability exists.
- Assessment of the severity and degree of limitations the disorder imposes on your daily activities, social functions, and concentration, as well as your ability to work.
- Proof that these limitations have lasted, or are expected to last, for a continuous period of at least 12 months.
- Analysis of impairments compared to normal sustainable anxiety issues.
- Evidence of any physical dysfunction.
- Documentation of degeneration or worsening of symptoms over time.
- Medical testimonials verifying your disorder and the severity.
- Witness statements and evaluations relating to deterioration of work.
Collecting the above documentation and evidence can be frustrating. However, you don’t have to do it alone. Once you’re diagnosed with severe and debilitating anxiety, an experienced disability lawyer can help gather the necessary materials to help enhance your claim.
Fighting Denial and Fear With Proper Representation
Make sure your family and friends are aware of disability qualification guidelines to prevent needless claim denials and months of useless waiting. Click the media icons on this page to share this article via Facebook. You can also help by having them contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about their disability claims.
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