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Filing for disability based on Borderline Personality Disorder

There is a qualifying listing in the Social Security Administration's impairment listing book (the blue book) that addresses borderline personality disorder. This is listing 12.08, titled, appropriately, Personality Disorders.

The SSA impairment manual describes personality disorders as conditions that exist when personality traits can be characterized as inflexible and maladaptive, and can be shown to impair an individual's functioning, both socially and as regards one's employability.

To satisfy the requirements of this listing (and be approved for disability on the basis of meeting this listing), a claimant's medical records must show behavior patterns that are maladaptive and that are associated with at least one of the following:

1. Seclusiveness or autistic thinking

2. Suspiciousness or hostility, to the degree that this can be considered to be pathologically inappropriate.

3. Oddities in the areas of verbalization, thoughts, behaviors, or perceptions.

4. A persistent occurrence of mood disturbance or disturbance of affect.

5. Dependence, passiveness, or aggressiveness, to a pathological degree.

6. Behavior that is damaging and impulsive.

7. Unstable and intense personal relationships.

To meet the Personality disorders listing, a claimant's medical records must also show at least two of the following:

1. A marked level of restriction in ADLs, or activities of daily living.

2. A marked level of difficulty in the area of maintaining social functioning.

3. Problems in maintaining concentration, persistance, or pace, to a marked degree.

4. A history of decompensatory episodes, each having some duration (the manual simply says "extended" duration.

Without question, to be approved for disability on the basis of the Personality Disorder listing, a claimant must have solid medical record documentation. This will typically mean a substantial history of psychiatric treatment provided by a psychiatrist whose treatment notes are clear when it comes to indicating the claimant's symptomology and the claimant's functional limitations in the areas of A) activities of daily living, B) social functioning, and C) attention (concentration, persistance, or pace).

Can a claimant who has borderline personality disorder be approved for disability if their records do not manage to satisfy the requirements of the Personality Disorder listing? Yes, by receiving a medical vocational allowance which is, in fact, how most disability applicants are approved for benefits.


How Social Security decides claims and makes decisions

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    How to find out if a disability claim has been approved or denied?
    Tips for Getting Disability Approved When you File
    Getting approved for disability and the approval process
    Can you be approved for disability without a hearing?
    Does Social Security Disability approve you the first time you file?

    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    Disability qualifications - Who will qualify is based on functional limitations
    What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
    How to file for disability and the information needed by Social Security
    What conditions do they Award Disability Benefits for?
    How does back pay for Social Security disability work?
    What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI? Part I
    To get a Social Security Disability or SSI Award do you have to have a Permanent Disability?
    Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
    Do Lawyers Improve The Chances of Winning Social Security Disability or SSI?
    What is qualifying for disability based on?
    How to qualify for disability - The Process of Qualifying for Benefits
    Receiving a Social Security Disability Award Letter
    How long does it take to get disability?
    Filing and applying for disability in Texas