If you face a long-term mental health disability that prevents you from gainful employment, you should receive Social Security Disability benefits. A mental health disability lawyer in California from Kenton Koszdin Law Office helps you or a loved one work with the Social Security Administration to evaluate your mental condition fairly so you can get the benefits you deserve.

Kenton Koszdin: Securing Mental Health Benefits with Compassion and Experience in Los Angeles

To get Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must show that you have a long-term medical condition that prevents you from any substantial gainful activity (work). Many mental health conditions meet this test, whether they’re congenital or acquired later in life.

While this sounds simple, SSA does not always look at mental health in the same way as physical health. Sometimes, they make rulings that suggest that mental disorders are too easy to fake. As a result, they may not approach mental health claims with the same gravitas and respect as they might with physical disability claims. This unfortunate circumstance demands the help of a lawyer for mentally disabled applicants.

A mental illness disability lawyer from Kenton Koszdin Law Office has experience filing and winning mental health disability claims. We understand how to document your condition to put you in the best possible position to receive SSDI benefits.

Understanding SSD Mental Disorders

When we hear the word “disability,” most of us think of a physical impairment, like losing a limb or developing a serious disease that makes us unable to perform many basic tasks of work or daily living. However, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are not limited solely to people who have physical disabilities. Many mental health disorders are every bit as disabling as physical ones, and SSDI benefits are available for many people whose mental disabilities prevent them from working, whether these disorders constitute mental illnesses, anxiety disorders, or mental impairments.

Because mental health disorders differ in some important ways from physical ones, the Social Security Administration (SSA) places mental disorders under their own separate category in its publication on Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, also known as the “Blue Book.”

Qualifying Mental Health Conditions for Social Security Disability

The SSA groups mental disorders into nine major categories. In each category, a person with a particular diagnosis must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for SSDI benefits. The nine major categories of mental disorders recognized by the SSA include:

  • Organic mental disorders, such as mental impairments from brain injuries or genetic diseases
  • Schizophrenic, paranoid, and other psychotic disorders
  • Affective disorders (includes mood disorders like severe mania or depression);
  • Mental retardation
  • Anxiety-related disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Somatoform disorders (mental disorders that trigger physical symptoms, either consciously or unconsciously)
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance addiction disorders
  • Autism and other pervasive developmental disorders

Like other types of disabilities, a mental condition only qualifies for support under SSDI if it prevents the patient from working and is expected to last at least one year and/or to result in the patient’s death.

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The bias against claimants with mental disabilities is real. Contact Kenton Koszdin Law Office for a consultation to discuss your mental disability and learn how to get mental disability benefits.

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Gathering Compelling Evidence: Establishing Disability for Anxiety

When determining whether a person with a mental disorder qualifies for Social Security disability benefits, the SSA looks at the person’s medical records and other information about the condition(s) the person has been diagnosed with. In particular, the SSA is interested in “symptoms,” “signs,” and test findings showing a mental illness or disorder:

  • Symptoms include the experiences the person reports him- or herself, like moods, intrusive thoughts, inability to think or communicate clearly, or other conditions depending on the particular disorder.
  • Signs include conditions observed by medical professionals that line up with a diagnosis of a particular mental illness or mental health condition.
  • Test results may be medical, like blood tests or brain scans, or they may be psychological, like results from an intelligence test or a personality inventory.

The SSA is also interested in previous or current treatments a person has received and how well the person has done on them.

Finally, the SSA will want to know how well or poorly the person handles daily living activities, social situations, mental concentration or focus, and periods in which the mental condition “flares up.” The more a mental disorder affects a person’s ability to navigate these four areas of life successfully, the more likely the person is to qualify for Social Security disability benefits based on the mental disorder.

How Will Kenton Koszdin Help Win Your Mental Health Disability Claim?

Mental health disability claims can be difficult to prove, but they are not impossible to win. A lawyer can often improve your chances of success by providing experience, knowledge, and skill. When you hire Kenton Koszdin Law Office for your mental health disability claims, we will:

  • Listen to your story about how your condition affects your ability to work.
  • Gather medical records from your doctors.
  • Research your illness to verify it qualifies for the SSA’s list of disabling conditions.
  • Prepare a social security disability claim.
  • Handle communications with the SSA.
  • Prepare an appeal or request for reconsideration if your claim gets denied.
  • Present evidence and advocate for you at any disability hearing.

Kenton Koszdin Law Office fights for your right to receive benefits. If your condition meets the requirements for a disability, you deserve to receive everything the law entitles you to.

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