How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can I apply for benefits with bipolar and no long term medical history?

Hello, I am 32 and turning around to see my life is a mess! I have realized that I am bipolar. I am very afraid of doctors and have had terrible experiences with doctors and nurses since I was a child. As a teenager I did try and get professional help, I was told it was normal for someone my age to be "moody". Because of this I have no medical history or documentation stating I have been bipolar since I was born likely. I am open to seeing a doctor to confirm I am truly Bi-polar but I also have a large fear of medication.

Would I be able to apply for benefits with no long term medical history and seek therapy WITHOUT medication? I have a cycle of moods that have led to many job losses, homelessness and Im seeing that working with others is becoming more difficult as I get older. Im hoping to be able to care for myself without my condition affecting those around me, I am tired of losing everything and everyone.

You can certainly apply for disability with no history of treatment. There is nothing to prevent that and a claim will always be taken by Social Security unless you fail to meet the most basic non-medical requirements such as working and making too much income, or having too much in assets (if your claim is for SSI).

That said, while there is a chance that you might be approved with no medical history, it is very difficult and practically close to impossible. Social Security needs to have medical records in order to make a decision. Those records need to be obtained from a qualified source and they need to be able to document two things:

1) That your condition is severe enough to meet the SSA disability definition NOW, as in "the present".

2) When your condition began. This essentially refers to your date of onset, which will help determine when you might be eligible for medicare, but it will also help determine how much back pay you might be eligible to receive.

It appears that you have no counseling or professional psychiatric treatment and that you have never been hospitalized. I would suggest that you should go ahead and seek some treatment.

As to whether or not your condition can be dealt with without medication, you would have to ask the treating professional. I would suggest that it does not hurt your disability claim if you are getting treatment and you are taking prescribed medication. The severity of mental conditions can be somewhat subjective, so the more objective medical evidence you have to support you disability case the better.

The following link will provide some information on how SSA views bipolar disorder.

On this next page, you can find information about how disability approvals are made.

Finally, this page discusses Factors involved in Winning SSDI or SSI Claims.

I hope things get better for you.

Essential Questions

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Related pages:

Current Medical Records for SSDI and SSI claims
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes
What is the Social Security definition of disability?
Social Security Disability Medical Records
How does back pay for Social Security Disability work?
How does Social Security view your work and medical records
Is Bipolar Disorder a disability according to Social Security?
Facts about Bipolar Disorder and Filing for Disability
Bipolar Disorder, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits

These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
How do you find out if a Social Security Disability claim has been approved or even denied?
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
How much does Social Security Disability or SSI pay?
How does the Social Security Disability Review work?
What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?
More differences between Social Security Disability and SSI

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.