SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Filing a Social Security Disability Application - How to File & the Information that is Needed by SSA
Do you need a Lawyer at the Administrative Law Judge Disability Hearing?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it
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 benefits
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
How To Get Disability Through SSDI or SSI Approved
Should you get Help from a Disability Attorney before the Claim has been Denied?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
Qualifying for Disability - What is Social Security Looking for?
How do I check the status of my Social Security disability claim?
What Expenses Will A Social Security Attorney Charge In Addition To The Fee?
Facts about Personality Disorder and Filing for Disability
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
1) Personality disorder is not one disorder, but a term used to describe many different personality disorders. They are quite common; it is thought that nearly 10-15 percent of people will experience a personality disorder at some point in their lives.
2) Personality disorders are characterized by having emotions, thoughts and behaviors that may be outside the cultural norm, causing one to experience dysfunctional relationships and impairment when it comes to working, going to school, or otherwise functioning socially.
3) Personality disorders are thought to develop due to a combination of environmental influences and genetics. For instance, if one has a troubled home life as a child and is treated abusively, it is more likely they will develop a personality disorder than someone who was treated lovingly in a secure and supportive home environment.
4) Those who have a family history of mental illness or personality disorders are at a higher risk for developing one of the many personality disorders, as are those who had physical, verbal or sexual abuse as a child, or those who experienced the loss of a parent, whether through divorce or death.
5) Since there are many different types of personal disorder, there are many different symptoms. General symptoms may include angry outbursts, mood swings, alcohol or substance abuse, bad relationships, poor impulse control, mistrust of others, social isolation, difficulty making and/or keeping friends, and a need for instant gratification.
6) There are three different groups or ‘clusters’ of personality disorder, termed cluster A, cluster B, and cluster C. These three clusters group together certain personality disorders based on characteristics.
7) Cluster A includes paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder and schizotypal personality disorder. Cluster B includes antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. Cluster C includes avoidant personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
8) Treatment for personality disorder will depend upon the type, but generally includes medications (mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and antipsychotics), psychotherapy (cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, psychodynamic psychotherapy) and in severe cases, hospitalization.
Can you qualify for disability benefits with this condition?
Whether or not you qualify for disability and, as a result, are approved for disability benefits will depend entirely on the information obtained from your medical records. This includes whatever statements may have been obtained from your treating physician (a doctor who has a history of treating your condition and is, therefore, qualified to comment as to your condition and prognosis).
It will also depend on the information obtained from your vocational, or work, history if you are an adult, or academic records if you are a minor-age child. The important thing to keep in mind is that the social security administration does not award benefits based on simply having a condition, but, instead, will base an approval or denial on the extent to which a condition causes functional limitations. Functional limitations can be great enough to make work activity not possible (or, for a child, make it impossible to engage in age-appropriate activities).
Why are so many disability cases lost at the disability application and reconsideration appeal levels?
Speaking as a former Disability Claims Examiner, I can state that there are several reasons:
1) Social Security makes no attempt to obtain a statement from a claimant's treating physician. By contrast, at the hearing level, a claimant and his or her disability attorney will generally obtain and present this type of statement to a judge;
2) Prior to the hearing level, a claimant will not have the opportunity to explain how their condition limits them, nor will their attorney or representative have the opportunity to make a presentation based on the evidence of the case. At the hearing level, of course, this is exactly what happens. And a number of disability representatives will also take such steps even earlier, at the reconsideration appeal level;
3) Disability judges, unlike disability examiners who decides cases at the first two levels of the system, can make independent decisions without being overturned by immediate supervisors--which happens frequently.
Return to: SSDRC, or the Social Security Disability Questions page