Social Security Disability Resource Center
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Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions
Why is it hard to get approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition?
Disability cases filed with the social security administration in Illinois, primarily on the basis of a mental condition, can often be difficult to win. And a large part of the problem has to do with the competency of DDS (in most states, the agency that evaluates social security disability and SSI claims is called DDS, or disability determination services) itself. What do I mean by this? Here's a short list.
1. Disability examiners (the case specialists who actually make decisions on disability applications and reconsideration appeals) get very little training for the purpose of evaluating mental ( psychological and psychiatric ) impairments. And this renders their insight into mental conditions to practically nil. It also severely inhibits their ability to interpret medical evidence that is mental in nature.
Yes, they can read and synopsize the records and they can then take this write-up to a unit psychological consultant for review (examiners have psychologist and physician consultants, who are attached to their unit, sign off on their cases). But their ability to abstract and interpret is very limited. In the end, they are no more qualified to evaluate mental medical records than an xray technician might be---which is to say not at all.
2. The Ph.D.s who serve as unit psychological consultants for disability examiners who work at the various state agencies...tend to be of very poor quality. I will admit that this is a subjective assessment to some extent. But I have seen many of them deliver mental residual functional capacity assessments that were completely ridiculous. And, as a consequence, a great many individuals whose mental condition precluded the ability to hold a job were denied benefits.
3. The social security administration, in its evaluation of disability claims involving mental conditions, does not seem to adequately take into consideration the fact that certain conditions have the characteristic of "exacerbation and remission".
That is, some conditions tend to slide back and forth on a regular basis. Bipolar disorder is a great example of this. A person with bipolar disorder will, by the definition of the disorder, experience depression, manic states, and often will experience mixed states.
How does social security evaluate a claim based on bipolar disorder? Very often, the claim is denied with the reasoning that the condition will resolve to a non-severe state within the twelve month timeframe needed to substantiate a state of disability (the social security administration's definition of disability states that, to qualify for benefits, a condition must be disabling for a period of not less than 12 months, though this can be actual or projected).
In later posts, I'll discuss what claimants with mental conditions may wish to consider when they file a claim for social security disability or SSI benefits.
1. How long does it take to get a disability hearing scheduled?
2. How long does it take to get a disability hearing?
3. How long does it take to get a decision after a disability hearing?
4. How to get a disability hearing scheduled faster?
5. Getting a faster disability hearing scheduled
6. Can an attorney get you a faster disability hearing?
7. Disability hearing decision timeframe
8. ALJ disability hearing decisions
9. What to expect at a disability hearing
10. What happens when you go to a disability hearing?
11. After a disability hearing, what happens?
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
Medical exams for disability claims
Applying for Disability in various states
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
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits
FAQ on Disability Claim Representation
Disability hearings before Judges
Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers
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
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
Resources on this site
Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions
Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI
About the Author of SSDRC, Tim Moore
For Individuals living in North Carolina
Applying for Disability in North Carolina
North Carolina Disability Lawyer
Filing for disability in Illinois
Applying for disability in Illinois
How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file
After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?
Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied
Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?
Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois
Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois
Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?
Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois
Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois
What will an Illinois disability attorney do?
Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?
Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois
Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois
Illinois disability appeals
Filing a disability appeal in Illinois
Which disability appeal to file in Illinois
How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?
Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois
Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois
How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois
Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?
Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois
Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?
Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois
Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?
How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?
Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer
Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois
Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?
Illinois disability hearings
How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois
Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration
Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied
Illinois mental disability
Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition
Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois
Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois
Illinois disability decisions
Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois
How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?
What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?
Illinois disability, working and work credits
Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security disability
How to get your disability status in Illinois
If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?
Can you apply for social security disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?
Illinois disability denials
Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?
Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois
Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?
Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois