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What evidence is needed for bipolar disorder?

There is an increased awareness that those who are suffering from mental illness may be able to receive Social Security disability benefits. Since these issues can be so debilitating, people who are living with them need to be aware of what needs to be shown to get an approval from the Social Security Administration. Bipolar disorder is a problem that could warrant SSD benefits. Missourians with symptoms of bipolar or who have already been diagnosed should understand what documentation is required before applying. There are three categories labeled A, B and C. To receive benefits, the applicant must satisfy the requirements of A and B or A and C.

Bipolar disorder will be classified by certain difficulties than the person will have. For category A, to receive SSD benefits there must be evidence of three of the following: pressured speech, flight of ideas, inflated self-esteem, a reduction in needing to sleep, being easily distracted, taking part in activities that can result in painful results that have not been considered or a rise in goal-directed activities or psychomotor agitation.

For category B, there must be an extreme limitation of one of the following or a marked limitation of two of the following: understanding, remembering or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace; or adapting or showing the ability to manage oneself. For category C, the disorder must be considered serious and persistent. By that, the SSA means that there is medical documentation of the disorder being present for a minimum of two years and evidence of the following: medical treatment, mental health therapy or a psychosocial supportive atmosphere that is continuous and reduces the signs of the mental issue. There must also be a marginal adjustment meaning that the person has a minimal ability to show adaptation to a change in environment or to demands that are not part of life on a daily basis.

Bipolar disorder can severely damage a person’s ability to function in myriad ways. In the past, it might have gone undiagnosed leaving the person to suffer in silence and do whatever he or she can to get by. With the increased recognition of the problem, it is increasingly possible to receive an approval for Social Security disability claims for bipolar. For help with filing for disability benefits for bipolar disorder, a lawyer can be very helpful.

Source: Social Security Administration, “12.04 Depressive, bipolar and related disorders satisfied by A and B, or A and C,” accessed on April 10, 2017

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