Earlier this month World Mental Health Day was recognized, which, according to the World Health Organization, seeks to raise awareness of mental health issues and mobilize efforts in support of mental health. One major source of support many people with severe mental health disorders need is financial stability. This stability is in jeopardy for those whose mental health conditions make it difficult to perform job functions at the level at which is required to be employable.
Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits can provide this stability to qualified individuals. In fact, mental disorders such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, make up the second most common group of impairments suffered by those awarded benefits. Still, it is by no means easy to be awarded benefits based on mental disorders.
To be approved for benefits, the Social Security Administration requires substantial proof that someone has significant employment limitations. However, medical records from mental health providers are often primarily made up of a patient’s subjective reports and claims for benefits may be denied based on weak supportive evidence. There are no tests that can objectively confirm the existence and extent of a mental disorder the way an MRI might confirm the existence and extent of a herniated disc.
When medical records are scarce, an attorney can help by formulating a plan to strengthen the claim. This may involve assistance in obtaining additional treatment or gathering statements from medical providers. An attorney can also help identify creative ways to prove the significance of someone’s limitations, such as by collecting letters from family members and former co-workers.
Attorney Katelyn Burke of Burke Law, PLLC has extensive experience supporting individuals suffering from mental health disorders in their claims for Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. If you, or someone you know, is interested in pursuing a claim for benefits contact Burke Law, PLLC today for a free consultation.