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Can you get Social Security Disability for mental illness?


When a person is unable to work due to a physical or mental disability, he or she may be eligible for financial support. Through the Social Security Administration, an eligible applicant may be able to secure benefits if there is sufficient evidence that he or she is unable to maintain gainful employment. While disabling medical conditions are often physical, they could also be mental conditions as well. If you struggle with a mental disability, you may find that this precludes you from maintaining a job and supporting yourself.

There are certain mental conditions that the SSA considers to be valid disabilities. If you have a diagnosis of one of these conditions, you may be able to secure disability benefits. It may be in your interests to learn more about what counts as a disabling medical condition according to the SSA and what steps you need to take in order to secure the financial support you need.

Is mental illness considered a disability?

According to the SSA’s standards for evaluating medical conditions, there are 11 mental illnesses that are valid disabilities. If you have one of these 11 conditions, you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income. The following are the mental disorders and specific illnesses that could qualify someone for disability benefits according to the SSA’s evaluating standards:

  • Depressive or bipolar disorders
  • Somatic symptoms
  • Personality disorders and impulse-control disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive and anxiety disorders
  • Psychotic disorders and schizophrenia

The SSA also considers some types of autism, intellectual disabilities, decreased mental function and other types of disorders to be valid disabling medical conditions. In order to qualify for disability benefits, the condition must be expected to last for a period of at least 12 months and severely limit the applicant’s ability to support himself or herself.

Are you eligible?

It can be difficult to apply for and secure disability benefits, even if you have a valid medical reason, including a mental disorder or limitation. Most Texas applicants find the process to be lengthy and complex, and it is helpful to have an understanding of eligibility requirements, important documentation needed to apply and more. The administration initially denies some applications, and it may be necessary to navigate an appeals process.