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SSD evidence requirements for mental conditions

For Missouri residents who are suffering from what they believe are qualifying mental conditions to receive Social Security Disability benefits, the evidence is one of the most important factors in getting an approval. Most will understand the need for medical evidence, but there are other aspects that can be used to provide proof to the Social Security Administration that the person warrants Social Security Disability benefits for mental conditions. This includes evidence from people who know the applicant and evidence from schools.

The SSA will consider relevant evidence regarding the applicant's mental disorder and how it affects their daily functioning when it comes from people who know the person. These individuals do not need to be close relatives. It can be anyone who knows the applicant from relatives, friends, caregivers, neighbors, religious authorities, social workers, case managers and more. The statements given by the applicant and statements given by those who know the applicant will be compared for consistency and used in conjunction with medical evidence and any other evidence the SSA might have.

Schools can include vocational training centers, work and work-related programs. The applicant might have gone to school or received some level of educational services. The SSA will seek information from these entities to assess how the mental disorder influences the person's functional abilities. This can include evaluation reports, therapy from the school, input from teachers as to how the person is able to cope with a classroom setting, and if there were any special treatment the person needed while at school. The same holds true for vocational schools with how the person could take part in programs, if he or she was able to complete a training program, follow instructions and perform work duties along with how the mental disorder might have affected that ability.

Those who are filing for disability benefits due to a mental disorder should know that it does not necessarily boil down to the medical evaluation and benefits can be approved with other evidence provided by people who know the applicant and schools he or she might have attended. Having legal advice and guidance from an attorney experienced in Social Security Disability can help with accruing this evidence to apply and have a chance at being approved.

Source: ssa.gov, "12.00 Mental Disorders -- C. What evidence do we need to evaluate your mental disorder? 3, 4," accessed on Jan. 2, 2018

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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