Social security disability benefits are often viewed as something you get when you have a physical disability. However, there are also some mental and psychological conditions that sometimes qualify for benefits. While they tend to be more difficult to have covered by social security, it is not impossible. Here are some mental illnesses that might be eligible for benefits.
Reduced Brain Function
It is common to be approved for social security benefits if you can prove that you have reduced brain function or a disorder related to your brain and memory function. For example, if you have a condition like dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it affects your memory and ability to perform regular work tasks, which is often means for disability benefits. You might also be able to get benefits if you have been diagnosed with organic brain syndrome, Huntington's chorea, or Parkinson's disease. If you had a stroke, brain infection, or cerebral trauma, those might also be included in the mental illnesses that qualify for social security disability benefits.
Anxiety and Depression
In terms of anxiety and depression, it is a little more complicated. Not everyone with anxiety or depression will qualify for disability benefits. You must have it so severely that it affects your ability to hold onto a job and work on a regular basis. For example, clinical depression might not be eligible, but if you have depression tied in with bipolar disorder, you might be able to get partial benefits. With anxiety, it is typically approved with conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder, since the attacks and mood swings are often unpredictable. With anxiety and depression, you might be offered partial benefits so that you still work part-time, but also get some financial assistance.
Mental illnesses also include psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia or paranoia. If you have been seeing a therapist for any type of psychotic disorder, they should be able to provide medical proof that you are unfit to hold down a job. This is due to side effects like delusions and hallucinations, severe mood swings, isolation, incoherence, and lack of proper logical thinking. It is sometimes hard to find and keep a job under these conditions, even if you are on medication.
If you want to apply for social security disability for these or other mental illnesses, you first need medical documentation proving the condition and that it debilitates you. It is also recommended that you get help from a social security disability lawyer before proceeding with the application.