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When can I receive SSD benefits for bipolar disorder?

People in Missouri who have a mental disorder often do not even realize that they have it or that its severity might warrant an approval for Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions. There are different types of mental issues; one that can lead to an approval is bipolar disorder. A person who has bipolar disorder experiences irritability, depression, elevated or expansive mood and loses pleasure in most activities. This results in a diminishing of functioning. The person might feel hopeless, guilty, think about suicide, experience a significant deviation in body weight or appetite, have issues sleeping, experience a rise or reduction in energy, lose impulse control, feel sad, euphoric or withdraw socially.

To be approved for SSD benefits for bipolar disorder, the applicant must meet the requirements in categories A and B or A and C in the Social Security Administration guidelines. For category A, the person must have three of the following: pressured speech, flight of ideas, inflation in self-esteem, a reduction in the need for sleep, be easily distracted, take part in activities that have a high chance of painful results, or have a rise in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation.

In category B, there must be two of the following: a limitation in understanding, remembering or applying information; trouble interacting with others; problems with concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace; or an issue with adapting or managing oneself. For category C, the disorder must be considered "serious and persistent." This means that there should be a documented medical history of it having been in place for a minimum of two years with evidence of medical treatment, therapy and other assistance that is ongoing and reduces the symptoms and signs of the problem. There must also be a marginal adjustment and the person showing a minimal capacity to adapt to changes to the daily life.

For people who are suffering in silence and trying to navigate their way through bipolar disorder, life can be difficult. There could be a lack of understanding of what the person is dealing with. When there is a belief that bipolar disorder is the problem or there is some other mental disorder, SSD benefits are a legitimate possibility. Speaking to an attorney experienced in the requirements for Social Security disability claims can help with seeking benefits.

Source: Social Security Administration, "12.00 Mental Disorders -- Adult -- B. 3. Depressive, bipolar and related disorders," accessed on May 23, 2017

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

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