Is Bipolar a Disability?

Bipolar Disorder, formerly known as manic-depressive disorder, is a mental illness characterized by frequent periods of extreme euphoria and/or cyclic mania, followed by severe depression. Bipolar disability falls within the category of several mood disorders that can occur in both males and females. People suffering from bipolar disorder often experience delusions and hallucinations.

This disorder is considered a disability if an individual meets any of the medical or work requirements that have been specified by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in the Blue Book. If you want your bipolar disorder to be regarded as a disability, then you need to satisfy all the medical and work-related requirements set forth by the SSA. A person must have previously earned work credits if he or she wants to meet the work requirements for Disability for Bipolar.

In most cases, work credits are calculated by the amount of income earned over the course of a year, with $1,410 currently amounting to one credit, up to a maximum of four credits per year. To get the disability benefits, a person requires 40 credits, out of which 20 must have been earned in the last 10 years, and must end in the year when the person became disabled.

If a person meets the work requirements, then he or she must also meet the medical requirements as specified by the SSA for bipolar disorder. All the requirements must match with the listings mentioned in the Blue Book of the SSA for bipolar disability.

Although SSA considers bipolar as a disability once you match all the criteria mentioned in the Blue Book by the SSA, a person must seek guidance from one of the experienced Social Security Disability Lawyers. A social security attorney would give you clarity and a better understanding of how to attain the Social Security disability benefits.

Symptoms of Bipolar Disability

If a person is experiencing one or more than one symptom mentioned below then he or she is suffering from severe mental illness.

  • Feeling hopeless at many times
  • Feeling anxious
  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Feeling guilty
  • Feeling isolated
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of encouragement
  • Chronic pain
  • Suicidal thoughts prevailing
  • Self-loathing
  • Depersonalization

In some cases, a person suffering from extreme bipolar disorder can become psychotic. The symptoms of bipolar disorder mainly appear between childhood and late adolescence. However, bipolar disorder is diagnosed based on a person’s changes in behavior, experiences he or she is going through, and feedback given by family, friends, and colleagues. These symptoms are mingled with secondary indications that are observed by psychiatrists, social workers, clinicians, and nurses who are taking care of the disabled person.

Usually, bipolar disorder is assessed by performing outpatient analysis. An inpatient admission is considered essential only if a person poses a serious risk to himself or others. A primary assessment may comprise a physical examination by a doctor or medical staff. In relapse cases, examinations are not repeated until there is an indication of a particular medical requirement.

How to file for a Bipolar Disability?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has set some criteria that a person with bipolar disorder must meet, such as consistent manic episodes or depressive disorder, or an amalgamation of both. In addition to this, the claimant must meet two of the following criteria:

  • The person is not able to perform any daily work
  • The person cannot interact with others
  • Episodes of decompensation are occurring frequently and last for long stretches

However, if a disabled person does not meet the above-mentioned criteria, then he or she may qualify under a listing mentioned in the Blue Book by the Social Security Administration. A person must be suffering from a chronic affective disorder, including bipolar disorder, for two years or more to qualify for receiving benefits under this listing.

The impairment must result in symptoms that limit work even with psychosocial support or continued medication. It must also involve decompensation periods and fluctuation in the level of mental illness. In addition to this, an individual must also be deprived of the potential for earning any livelihood. If a person satisfies these criteria, then he or she will be qualified for receiving the Social Security Disability Benefits.

Applying for Social Security benefits on the basis of bipolar disability can be quite a complex and lengthy process. Therefore, it is advisable to take help from a competent attorney who has the expertise of handling these types of cases and experience in getting disabled people all the disability benefits.

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