Qualifications for Disability with Bipolar Disorder in Albany
Get Support to Ease Your Stress
If you or a loved one lives with bipolar disorder, you know how difficult it can be. You experience wide shifts in mood, energy and activity level. You struggle to carry out day-to-day tasks.
When bipolar disorder prevents you from working, it creates a financial hardship that adds even more stress to an already hard situation.
But Social Security Disability benefits can help –– a lot.
And deserving people like you can get support winning the benefits you need. James Trauring & Associates, LLC, has served upstate New Yorkers for more than 25 years.
If bipolar is making it impossible for you to work, get your free case consultation.
What Are the Types of Bipolar?
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says there are four basic types of bipolar disorder.
They all include moods that range from periods of extreme “up” –– elated and energized behavior known as manic episodes –– to very sad “down” or hopeless periods called depressive episodes:
- Bipolar I — characterized by weeklong manic episodes and two-week depressive periods.
- Bipolar II — including depressive episodes and less severe manic episodes that some people experience, called “hypomanic episodes.”
- Cyclothymic Disorder — defined by much longer (1-2 year) periods with numerous milder depressive and manic episodes.
- Other Bipolar Disorders — including symptoms that don’t match the other three categories.
For the purposes of disability benefits, the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” of impairments lists bipolar disorder as an official condition that can qualify adults and children for help.
How Do I Explain My Bipolar Disorder to Social Security?
Social Security requires you to show at least three of the following symptoms in your medical documentation:
- Unusually fast, frenzied speech
- Quickly changing ideas, thoughts
- Inflated self-esteem
- Decreased need for sleep
- Easy distraction
- Risky actions without recognition of the high probability of painful consequences
- Increasing goal-based activities, like taking on new projects
- Pacing or restless busyness
You also need to show “extreme” limitation in one of the following areas, or “marked” limitation in two of these areas:
- Understanding, remembering and applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating and maintaining pace (ability to complete tasks)
- Adapting or managing oneself (adapting to new situations or handling practical life skills like paying bills, dressing, cooking)
NIMH says some of the symptoms of bipolar disorder are similar to other mental illnesses, so it can be difficult for a doctor to properly diagnose.
Social Security examiners are not licensed psychiatrists. They may not fully understand the limitations bipolar disorder can cause.
Some may think an applicant is overstating their problems in an effort to win benefits.
That’s why it can benefit you to get a professional to present your case.
James Trauring & Associates, LLC, with offices in Schenectady, Albany and Saratoga Springs, has a well-qualified team of lawyers, legal assistants and staff members experienced in successfully building disability claims for hard-working, deserving New Yorkers.
How Bipolar Affects Your Ability to Work
The key to winning disability benefits is that your health condition must make it impossible for you to work.
Even if Social Security decides your bipolar disorder symptoms don’t match the criteria in its Blue Book, the agency will consider how they limit your ability to work.
In general, if your symptoms prevent you from working any of your past jobs — or any other type of job — you could be awarded benefits.
Your age, education, work history and level of functioning will also be factors.
How Do I Prove My Case?
The most important evidence you can submit is objective medical evidence from health care providers.
And to show how your symptoms affect your ability to work, you need to submit testimony from people who know you.
Family members, friends, coworkers and others can describe how you handle everyday situations, how you deal with others and how your bipolar disorder affects your ability to work.
You can win a disability case with a bipolar disorder, but it can be more difficult that proving a physical disorder that’s easier for other people to see.
The severity of your condition — as shown by your medical evidence and other documentation — will determine your success.
That’s why it can make a difference to get an experienced lawyer to build your case.
James Trauring & Associates, LLC, has more than 25 years of experience helping people like you win the benefits you need, and deserve
We charge no fee unless you win — and only for a portion of the back benefits you’re awarded.