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Social Security Disability

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) can become so incapacitating that work is impossible. Therefore, issues with Social Security Disability arise. Found here are resources and information for navigating the difficult process of applying for and receiving disability.

Talking About Disability for a Mental Illness
If you're on Social Security Disability due to a mental illness, do you have friends, family or acquaintances disapprove? Do they feel like you're getting a living free, at their expense? Members of the About Bipolar Disorder form discuss dealing with the issues surrounding the question of disability and mental illness.

I Can’t Hold a Job! What Do I Do?
For many people with bipolar disorder, the ability to work is seriously compromised. Debilitating depressions, manic-based bad decisions, struggles with medications and side effects as well as psychotic features, panic attacks and other extreme symptoms of this illness make it very difficult for some to obtain or hold a job for very long. A...

What Is Disability?
Disability is a very broad term that compares actual ability to normal functioning. It is also used to refer to a number of federal and state programs that provide assistance to those who are disabled. The two most common programs that fall under the umbrella of disability are Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Medicare and Medicaid are also components of these programs.

Do I Qualify for Disability?
The Social Security Administration has a formula for determining if an individual is considered disabled. There are five basic steps that must be met in order to qualify for disability. Here is an outline of these steps.

Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for Disability?
Can those with bipolar disorder qualify for disability from the U.S. Social Security Administration? Learn about your access to Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income if you have bipolar disorder.

How Do I Start My Disability Application?
Beginning your application for disability is easy and, as previously noted, you should begin this process as soon as possible due to the lengthy processing time and waiting periods for court dates. You have three options for initiating your request.

What Information and Paperwork Do I Need?
Paperwork -- complete and well-documented paperwork -- is the key to the success of your disability application. The Disability Report Form (SSA-3368) is the primary form you will need to complete; additional documents will also be expected. Here is a summary of the information you will need to provide.

What Happens with My Application?
After you’ve compiled and submitted your application for disability, your claim is forwarded to a state agency for review and a decision. You can expect at least three stages. Here is a summary of what will happen with your application.

How Long Will It Take to Get Benefits?
To get disability benefits your medical condition(s) must have lasted, or be expected to last, at least one year or be expected to result in your death. The process of applying for and being awarded benefits takes so long that it is generally wise to apply as soon as it appears that your medical problems are going to keep you from working for at least a year.

What Benefits Will I Get?
In considering disability, an important question that always arises is the value of the benefits that will be provided if your application is successful. Given the cost in time and frustration, is the return worth the investment? The answer to these questions will greatly depend on your specific circumstances.

Who Can Help Me?
This series of articles on understanding disability – SSDI and SSI – has provided a brief synopsis of the process. The number of details, twists and turns, loopholes and exceptions is, unfortunately, rather large. Tackling this can be quite daunting. However, there is no reason you need to do so alone. There are any number of services available to help individuals begin disability applications, understand personal rights and interpret the nuisances of law. Here are a few places to start.

Social Security Disability and Bipolar Disorder
From the About Bipolar Disorder 'Voices of Experience' series, insights into the appeal process and what to expect from a law firm when you seek legal help to obtain Social Security Disability.

Assisting an Adult Child with SSDI
From the About Bipolar Disorder 'Speaking from Experience' series, information on how to help an adult child obtain Social Security Disability for manic depression.

Going Off Social Security Disability
Information about going back to work when you are receiving Social Security disability benefits.

A "Snapshot" of Social Security
This is a remarkably clear fact sheet giving overviews of the several important facets of Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicare.

What Is a PASS?
This Social Security publication introduces you to the Plan for Achieving Self Support, a method of easing you through the back-to-work transition from disability payments.

Work Incentives for People With Disabilities
A summary guide to employement support for individuals with disabilities under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Programs. This is a must-read for anyone wanting to go back to work after receiving disability benefits for a time.

Working While Disabled
This is the text of SSA Publication No. 05-10095, providing "information to help you treat your disability as a 'bridge,' not the end of the road."

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