The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines mental illness as a medical condition that interferes with a person's thinking, feeling, moods, relationships to others, and ability to function on a daily basis. These illnesses include bipolar disorder, anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia and many, many more.
Individuals struggling with mental illness may have difficulty with concentration, focus, and memory, and these difficulties may disrupt their ability to carry out basic work functions, making it hard to hold down a job. That’s why mental illness is a leading cause of disability in America, affecting an estimated 44.5 million adults each year. Yet only 60 percent of Americans diagnosed with a serious mental illness received mental health treatment in the past year.
If a mental illness is making it difficult for you to work, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The single most important step you can take for both your own wellbeing and any potential disability claim is to get regular treatment for your condition. Finding a psychiatrist or counselor and following the prescribed course of treatment is essential. Social Security will use the medical records and notes from your treatment in evaluating your claim. That’s why getting – and staying – in treatment is critical from a disability standpoint.
If you believe that a mental illness is keeping you from working, Keefe Disability Law can provide a free consultation to help you decide whether you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. To complete this complimentary evaluation, or to get answers to any of your questions about Social Security disability, call us toll-free at 888-904-6847.