Mental Illness and Social Security Disability | South Portland, Maine

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Mental Illness And Social Security Disability

Published on September 24th, 2023

Navigating Mental Illness and Social Security Disability: Your Path to Peace of Mind Begins Here!

Are you struggling with mental health issues that prevent you from working? If your medical records show that you have a serious mental illness, you could be eligible to receive Mental Illness and Social Security disability benefits. When dealing with the impact of mental illness on your ability to work and maintain a stable life, the journey to secure Social Security Disability benefits can feel like an uphill battle. Navigating the intricate web of social security disability benefits, especially when it comes to mental illness, requires not only legal skills but also a deep understanding of the specific laws and regulations that apply. 

At Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices, we understand the unique struggles that veterans in South Portland face when dealing with mental health issues and the intricacies of the Social Security Disability system. With over 5,000 cases successfully handled and millions of dollars awarded in VA benefits since 2009, our commitment to veterans’ well-being is unwavering.

If you’re a veteran or a resident in South Portland, Maine, fighting the uphill battle of mental illness and seeking Social Security Disability benefits, you don’t have to go it alone. Our experienced team at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices is here to guide you through the process, ensuring that your service and sacrifice are duly recognized and rewarded. You fought for us, now let us fight for you. Don’t hesitate to reach us today!

What is Mental Illness?

Mental illnesses cover a wide range of problems with our thoughts and feelings, ranging from mild to severe. We can group them into two main categories.

Any Mental Illness (AMI) 

AMI is a mental, emotional, or behavior-related problem. This problem can be anywhere from not affecting you much to cause mild, moderate, or even severe issues 

Serious Mental Illness (SMI) 

SMI is a a mental, emotional, or behavior-related problem that seriously affects how you live your life. It makes it hard to do important things in your daily life. Many of the challenges related to mental health are most significant for people dealing with SMI.

What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

SSDI is a support system for people who can’t work because of serious health issues. This includes both physical and mental problems. 

Can Mental Illness Be Considered A Disability?

Yes, mental illness can qualify as a disability if your symptoms keep you from working full-time for at least twelve months, despite medical treatment. Full-time work is defined as earning enough money (in 2023, $1,470 per month) to qualify for substantial gainful activity (SGA).

What Is The Difference Between A Mental Illness And A Mental Disability?

When we talk about challenges related to thinking and emotions, there is often confusion between mental disabilities and mental illnesses. However, they are distinct conditions, even though they may share some similarities. These are the key differences, especially in veterans’ benefits and social security disability in South Portland, Maine.

Nature of the Conditions

  • Mental Disability: This is a lifelong condition where someone’s thinking ability develops slowly. People with intellectual disabilities can look and function differently from each other. It’s important to know that medicine rarely works to treat intellectual disabilities.
  • Mental Illness: On the other hand, mental illness is about problems with a person’s emotional and psychological state. Unlike intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses can often be treated with medication, talking to a therapist, and other kinds of help.

What Causes Them?

  • Mental Disability: These disabilities can happen because of different things, like genes, things in the environment, or issues during pregnancy or birth. 
  • Mental Illness: Mental illnesses, however, can result from things like genes, imbalances in the brain, or struggling to deal with life’s challenges. They can show up at any time in a person’s life —some come and go, while others stick around.

Are They Permanent?

  • Mental Disability: Yes, intellectual disabilities are permanent, and there’s no cure. People with these disabilities can learn new skills and adapt, but the disability itself doesn’t go away.
  • Mental Illness: In contrast, mental illnesses might not last forever. Some people might have just one episode in their life, while others might have them more than once.

How to Help?

  • Mental Disability: People with intellectual disabilities often need ongoing help with their development. They may require support with education, work, and basic life skills.
  • Mental Illness: Treating mental illness often involves medical help, which can be short-term or long-term. This might include medication, therapy, counseling, and other kinds of support.

Understanding the differences between mental illnesses and mental disabilities is crucial, especially when it comes to veterans’ benefits and social security disability in South Portland, Maine. If you or a loved one is navigating these complex issues, we at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices are here to provide guidance and support tailored to your unique situation.

How Do I Qualify for Mental Illness and Social Security Disability Benefit?

To qualify for mental illness and social security disability benefits in South Portland, Maine, you must meet specific criteria:

  • Medical Proof: It’s crucial to provide clear medical evidence supporting your condition, not just verbal descriptions of symptoms.
  • Duration: Your mental health issue should persist for at least a year or be life-threatening.

Which Mental Illness Qualifies for Social Security Disability Benefit?

The Social Security Administration maintains a list, often referred to as the “Blue Book,” outlining qualifying mental health conditions, including:

  • Memory or cognitive impairments
  • Severe conditions like schizophrenia
  • Mood disorders
  • Learning disabilities
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Psychosomatic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance abuse-related issues
  • Autism

If your condition isn’t listed, examiners will assess how it affects your memory, attention, judgment, social skills, and adaptability to new situations.

  • Examiners evaluate how your mental health condition influences your daily life and ability to work. 
  • They consider medical tests, input from therapists, and other relevant evidence.
  • They also assess whether you can perform your previous job or any other suitable employment, considering your education and work history. 
  • If your condition matches a Blue Book listing or listing of impairments, you may qualify for benefits immediately. Otherwise, you must demonstrate that your condition hinders your ability to work effectively.
  • Even if you’re currently employed, you may still be eligible for SSDI if your income falls below the administration’s defined threshold for “gainful wages.”

Whether your condition is listed or you need a professional assessment of how your mental illness impacts your daily life and work, our dedicated team is here to assist. Don’t navigate this complex journey alone. Reach out to us at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices today, and let us help you with your mental illness and social security disability benefits you may rightfully deserve.

How Do I Get Social Security Disability Benefit for My Mental Illness?

To get mental illness and social security disability benefits, you first need to apply with your local Disability Determination Services office. They’ll check if you meet the financial requirements. If you qualify, they’ll ask for your medical records.

These records are crucial. They should show that you’ve been regularly getting help for your mental health issues. Your records should include:

  • Notes from your mental health provider, like a therapist or counselor, describing how you’ve been feeling and acting during your visits.
  • Evaluations noting any problems with your thinking, like forgetfulness.
  • A list of the medications you take for your mental health and any side effects.
  • Records from any time you were in the hospital for your mental health.

If you can’t afford treatment or don’t have insurance, the SSA might arrange a free exam with a psychologist or psychiatrist. They’ll ask you questions about your life and health to help decide how serious your mental health issues are.

If you’re navigating the complexities of mental illness and social security disability claims and need valuable guidance, reach out to Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices today. Our experienced team is here to support you on your journey towards securing the benefits you deserve. Contact us now!

Call Our Veterans Benefits Attorney Today!

Struggling to secure the mental illness and Social Security disability benefits you rightfully deserve? Look no further. Our experienced team at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices is here to guide you through this intricate process.

At Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices, we have been a source of support for many veterans and residents in South Portland for years. We focus on helping veterans and residents like you get the benefits you deserve when you have mental health issues and need assistance from Social Security Disability. Our team is dedicated and understands the challenges you go through, especially when it comes to your mental well-being. We are committed to making sure veterans get the benefits they should rightfully receive.

Ready to secure your Social Security disability benefits? Don’t navigate this process alone. Contact our veterans’ benefits lawyer at Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices in South Portland, Maine, for valuable guidance and support in securing the social security disability benefits you deserve. Call us now to get a free consultation.

Your fight is our fight. Now, let Jackson & MacNichol Law Offices fight for you and be your trusted ally in your quest for justice and peace of mind.

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