Serving the Western United States
Bipolar Disorder and Social Security Disability
Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder in which an individual switches between instances of happy to irritable moods. Usually accompanies with periods of depression, sufferers can switch moods very quickly. Bipolar disorder is often mistakenly misdiagnosed as depression.
In some cases, the person who is suffering from bipolar disorder can keep the condition under control with the help of medication and can usually work. Severe cases can become just as bad as any other mental illness.
Bipolar Disorder and Applying for California Social Security Disability Benefits
If the applicant’s impairment falls within any of the following categories set forth by Social Security’s Listing, a strong claim may exist. The Listing is as follows;
1. Medically documented syndrome characterized by at least four of the following:
A. Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following
a. Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities; or
b. Appetite disturbance with change in weight; or
c. Sleep Disturbance; or
d. Psychomotor agitation or retardation; or
e. Decreased energy;
f. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or
g. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
h. Thoughts of suicide; or
i. Hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thinking; or
B. Manic syndrome characterized by at least three of the following:
a. Hyperactivity; or
b. Pressure of Speech; or
c. Flight of ideas; or
d. Inflated self-esteem; or
e. Decreased need for sleep; or
f. Easy distractibility; or
g. Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences which are not recognized; or
h. Hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thinking; or
C. Bipolar syndrome with a history of episodic periods manifested by the full symptomatic picture of both manic and depressive syndromes (and currently characterized by either or both syndromes); and
2. Resulting in at least two of the following:
A. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
B. Marked difficulties in maintain social functioning; or
C. Marked difficulties in maintain concentration, persistence, or pace; or
D. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration; or
3. Medically documented history of a chronic affective disorder of at least 2 years’ duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently attenuated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:
A. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration; or
B. A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in environment would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate; or
C. Current history of 1 or more years’ inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement.
An individual who does not meet the Social Security Listing above will still be eligible to receive benefits, if he/she has a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder and is being treated by a mental health professional (psychologist or psychiatrist). The treatment must be for a period long enough for the mental health professional to have a credible opinion as to disability.
To increase your chances of winning your Social Security Disability claim it is important for you to hire an experienced Social Security Disability attorney to get you the Social Security Disability help you deserve. Please call us at 1-800-882-5500 or fill out a form on our website for a FREE claim evaluation.