To receive Social Security disability benefits, you need to show proof of more than just a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. You need to present evidence that your bipolar disorder is so severe that you are unable to work on a full time basis. Here are some tips to keep in mind before and after you apply for Social Security disability benefits.
Medical Opinions Regarding the Severity of Your Bipolar Disorder
You should request a statement from your treating psychiatrist or a psychologist regarding the severity of your bipolar disorder. For example, your doctor might give an opinion that you would miss several days of work each month due to your mental health symptoms. It is important that the doctor provide a detailed explanation for their opinion. Continue to treat with your psychiatrist and therapist so that you amass a treatment history of your symptoms in your medical records. Social Security cannot easily deny the opinion of a doctor who has consistently documented the clinical signs and symptoms supporting their opinion.
The Importance of Getting Treatment for Bipolar Disorder
The Social Security Administration will review your medical records to determine if you have been prescribed any psychiatric medication for your bipolar disorder and whether this medication effectively controls your bipolar symptoms. If you have never been given medication, Social Security will assume your mental impairment is mild and therefore not disabling. In addition, if your doctor has recommended therapy or medication for your bipolar disorder and you chose not to follow the doctor’s advice, Social Security may find you to be noncompliant and you could be denied Social Security disability benefits based upon this.
Drugs and Alcohol and Bipolar Disorder
If you abuse drugs or alcohol, then you will have a major roadblock in obtaining Social Security disability benefits for bipolar disorder. The Social Security Administration will most likely assume that your mental health symptoms are a result of illegal drug use and not from your mental health condition. It then becomes your burden to show the SSA that you would be disabled by your bipolar disorder regardless of your use of illegal drugs or alcohol.
Our law firm focuses exclusively on Social Security disability and SSI disability cases. To learn more about the SSDI and SSI programs and how our disability lawyers can improve your chances for success in your disability claim, contact the Jenkintown and Philadelphia Social Security disability lawyers of the Disability and Injury Law Offices of David R. Machek for a free consultation at: (215) 886-0398 or at: http://www.disabilitylawpa.com Email: [email protected]