Is Bipolar Disorder a disability according to Social Security?
Bipolar Disorder is considered a severe condition by Social Security, and it may be considered a disability under Social Security guidelines. Social Security considers Bipolar Disorder a disability when it has prevented you from working for the past twelve months or is expected to prevent you from working for twelve months.
When you file for disability on the basis of Bipolar disorder, it is important to have a thoroughly documented mental health history, including hospitalizations, therapy and medications (and a medical history that shows you have been compliant with your medications, i.e. have taken them as prescribed).
Why is it important to have a documented mental health history?
Social Security Disability needs to be able to evaluate how Bipolar Disorder has affected your ability to participate in daily activities including work activities; therefore, medical decisions are based on medical records and various disability forms and information provided by your physicians (medical records), third party persons (sometimes, a relative or neighbor will be contacted regarding your daily activities and what you are noticeably capable of doing), and yourself.
What follows is an excerpt from this page: Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI with Bipolar Disorder.
"Social Security recognizes that bipolar disorder is a severe medical condition that could prevent an individual from performing work activity at the SGA (substantial gainful activity) level. The Social Security definition of disability maintains that a "disability" is any medically determinable mental or physical condition that has prevented an individual from working and receiving earnings equal to the SGA limit, or is expected to prevent the performance of SGA-level work activity for twelve continuous months, or is expected to result in their death.
The Social Security Disability guidebook evaluates the severity requirements needed to be approved for disability on the basis of bipolar disorder under mental impairment listing 12.04 Affective Disorders, section A 3. The listing requires that an individual have a history of episodic periods, documented by the full symptomatic range of both manic and depressive syndrome symptoms (the current episode may be characterized by either or both syndromes)."
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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