If you live with bipolar depression and your doctor has suggested that you file for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments, then there are many things you should do to ensure your claim's success, including:
Tip: Take Proactive Steps Against Biased Claim Denials
Since bipolar depression is often hard to diagnose and is completely invisible to disability claim examiners, you need to take specific steps to avoid the examiner's natural bias towards people faking their depression symptoms. It is the claim examiner's job to determine if you are truly disabled or if there is work you can do but are choosing not to. This tends to make them biased against people applying for disability based on a mental illness. You can counteract their bias against your case by:
- providing medical proof of your bipolar depression diagnosis
- providing proof you are filling prescriptions for bipolar depression medications
- providing written statements from your previous employers and others who can share their observations about how bipolar depression affects your life
Tip: Understand the Difference Between Your Diagnosis and Ability to Function
When you apply for SSDI, it is vital that you understand there is a big difference between obtaining a diagnosis from your physician and being considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA not only requires you to have a medical diagnosis to consider you disabled and approve your SSDI claim, they also require that your condition greatly decreases your ability to function in everyday life.
When your case is reviewed, you will need to provide the SSA a questionnaire about your activities of daily living, including your ability to:
- shop for your groceries and other needs
- prepare your food and clean your home
- handle money and pay your own bills
In addition, the SSA will look at your ability to take care of your personal hygiene needs as well.
Tip: Provide Documentation Supporting Your Inability to Function with Others in the Workplace
If your bipolar depression has affected your ability to function in the workplace because you cannot get along with other people, then you should provide the SSA with written documentation that proves this point. You can ask past employers to write statements for you, or you can obtain copies of disciplinary reports from your employment records.
Tip: Seek Assistance from an Experienced SSDI Claim Attorney
Finally, since SSDI claims based on bipolar depression and other mental illnesses can be hard to get approved by the SSA, you should work with an experienced SSDI attorney like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law in your local area.