Social Security Disability and Mental Disorders

Mental disorders limit individual’s ability to perform work related activities. You can receive Social Security Disability benefits as the result of a mental impairment, or a combination of mental impairments. I specialize in representing individuals who suffer from mental disorders. We know how mental disorders can interfere with daily life and cause pain for you and those who care about you.

The Social Security Administration lists a number of specific medical impairments as disabling conditions, such as:

  • Organic mental disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Paranoid and other psychotic disorders
  • Affective disorders mental retardation
  • Depression
  • Anxiety-related disorders
  • Somatoform disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Substance addiction disorders
  • Autistic disorder and other pervasive developmental disorders.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Panic attacks
  • Developmental disabilities
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Personality disorders
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autism

The Social Security Administration measures severity according to the functional limitations imposed by mental impairment(s). The Social Security Administration assesses functional limitations using four criteria: 1) activities of daily living; 2) social functioning; 3) concentration, persistence, or pace; and 4) episodes of decompensation.

Activities of daily living include cleaning, shopping, cooking, driving, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, household chores and yard work, caring appropriately for your own grooming and hygiene, using telephones and directories, and using a post office.

Social functioning refers to your capacity to interact independently, appropriately, effectively, and on a sustained basis with other individuals. Social functioning includes the ability to get along with others, such as family members, friends, neighbors, grocery clerks, landlords, or bus drivers.

Concentration, persistence or pace refers to the ability to sustain focused attention and concentration sufficiently long enough to permit the timely and appropriate completion of tasks commonly found in work settings. In work evaluations, concentration, persistence, or pace is assessed by testing your ability to sustain work using appropriate production standards, in either real or simulated work tasks. Strengths and weaknesses in areas of concentration and attention can be discussed in terms of your ability to work at a consistent pace for acceptable periods of time and until a task is completed, and your ability to repeat sequences of action to achieve a specific goal or an objective.

Episodes of decompensation are temporary increases in symptoms or signs accompanied by a loss of adaptive functioning, as manifested by difficulties in performing activities of daily living, maintaining social relationships, or maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace.

We know that symptoms of mental disorders can make it impossible to keep a job. If you cannot work due to your condition, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Contact us for a free evaluation.


For Social Security mental disorder medical listings please visit:

http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm