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How Mental Health Conditions are Evaluated for SSDI/SSI in Arkansas

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 adults in the United States experience mental illness each year. Mental illness can have a serious impact on a person’s life, it can lead to problems at work, in relationships and with physical health. If you think you or someone you know may have a mental health condition, it’s important to seek professional help.

You may be wondering if financial help is available in the form of Social Security Disability benefits. The short answer is yes, individuals with mental disabilities can qualify for benefits. However, navigating the SSDI application process can be challenging, especially when the disability in question relates to mental health. 

Understanding the nuances of how mental health conditions are evaluated can be pivotal to a successful claim. To navigate this process, you can get a free, strictly confidential appointment with an Arkansas Social Security Disability lawyer at GCC Law Firm. If you’re a resident of Rogers, AR, Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Northeast Oklahoma, call us today at (479) 337-7489, or schedule a meeting for a free consultation

In this article, our SSDI attorney will share the key things to know about mental illness and SSDI/SSI claims.

The Blue Book Criteria

The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses the “Blue Book” as a medical guide to determine if the condition qualifies for SSDI. Section 12.00 specifically addresses mental illnesses. For qualification, each mental condition has its distinct set of criteria. The mental health conditions under sections 12.04 and 12.06 include:

  • Depressive disorder; 
  • Bipolar disorder; 
  • Anxiety disorder; 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

If you have one of these mental health conditions and it prevents you from working on a full-time basis, you could potentially be eligible for a disability benefit. 

Evidence in Medical Records: The Cornerstone of SSD Claims

All successful Social Security Disability claims are built on a foundation of strong and comprehensive supporting evidence. Medical records related to your mental health condition are crucial to your SSDI/SSI claims. 

According to SSA medical records must be over a period of 2 years, with evidence of medical treatment, therapy and psychosocial support. 

SSA also places significant emphasis on the consistency of medical records. Regular visits to a therapist, medication records and detailed notes on how the condition affects daily living are crucial. 

Our SSDI attorney at GCC Law Firm suggests continuing regular check-ins with your mental health professional even if you feel your condition has improved temporarily. Gaps in treatment can be misconstrued as an improvement in your condition. 

Statements from friends or family about how your condition affects your daily life and ability to work can be influential. In addition, statements from acquaintances or colleagues who’ve observed your struggles can also carry substantial weight, as these can be considered non-biased by SSA. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Arkansas Social Security Disability Attorney

Navigating the complexities of SSDI applications in Arkansas can be a complicated process. Accuracy and consistency are important, as even minor oversight can delay the process or lead to a denial. If you’re a resident of Rogers, AR, Northwest Arkansas, Southwest Missouri, and Northeast Oklahoma and you find yourself searching for a “Social Security disability lawyer near me”, know that you’re not alone in this journey. Lean on the expertise of a reliable Arkansas Social Security disability lawyer to guide you every step of the way, from the initial claim to an appeal. Call us today at (479) 337-7489 or schedule a meeting for a free consultation.