What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?
How do you Win Benefits under Social Security Disability or SSI?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much does a Social Security disability attorney get paid?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability SSI and Fibromyalgia
Social Security Disability SSI and Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Social Security Disability Tips — how a claim gets worked on
Social Security Disability, SSI Disability - Terms, Definitions, Concepts
Can you file for Social Security disability for a mental disorder or problem?
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
You may file for Social Security disability or SSI for a mental problem or disorder, if it prevents you from performing substantial gainful work activity. Social Security does not differentiate between physical and mental problems; simply the condition is so severe that it prevents the performance of any kind of substantial work activity (SGA).
An evaluation on the basis of a mental disorder or problem requires an impairment that is documented by objective medical evidence, a consideration of the limitations that your mental disorder or disease imposes on your ability to work, and an evaluation as to whether these limitations will last for twelve continuous months or more.
In order to make this determination, disability examiners use a disability guide book that contains nine diagnostic mental impairment listings:
If your mental disorder or problem meets or equals the criteria of an impairment listing, Social Security determines that you could not reasonably be expected to perform any gainful work activity. If your mental condition does not meet or equal an impairment listing in severity, then you may or may not have the residual functional capacity to perform substantial work activity. The decision on your case would be dependend on what social security considers to be your mental functional capacity, referred to as your MRFC, or mental residual functional capacity.
A determination of your mental residual functional capacity is critical to the evaluation of your ability to perform SGA when your mental disorder or problem does not meet or equal the criteria of a specific impairment listing.
The mental residual functional capacity evaluation (MRFC) is a detailed description of work related abilities you have in spite of the limitations of your mental disorder. An assessment of your residual functional capacity is necessary to satisfy paragraphs B and C of most mental impairment listings.
The definition of Social Security disability is defined by three factors: a severe mental or physical condition, inability to perform substantial gainful work activity, and a twelve-month continuous period of disability. If you meet these criteria can file for and potentially be approved for Social Security disability or SSI benefits.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Questions, Answers, Tips, and Advice page
Individual Questions and Answers
SSD and SSI are Federal Programs
The title II Social Security Disability and title 16 SSI Disability programs operate under federal guidelines and, therefore, the program requirements--medical and non-medical--apply to all states:
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Recent approval and denial statistics for various states can be viewed here:
Social Security Disability, SSI Approval and Denial Statistics by state
Special Section: Disability Lawyers and unnecessary claim denials