Houston Social Security
Disability Attorney

Photo of David Dopkin
Photo of David Dopkin

Proving a disability caused by a mental condition

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2018 | Social Security Disability Benefits for Mental Conditions

Many people in Houston suffer from mental conditions that interfere with their ability to work. Some of these people may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, but they may also be unaware of how such benefits are granted. As with all SSDI applications, an application for benefits based upon a mental condition must prove the existence of the disability and the totality of the disability.

Proof of the existence of a disability caused by a mental condition or disorder can be difficult because most mental illnesses do not produce visible symptoms. Moreover, many mental conditions cannot be detected by objective measurement, such as by an x-ray, a CT scan or a laboratory test. Instead, proof of a mental disability usually relies on the observations and evaluations of health care providers that treat such conditions.

A person seeking benefits for a mental illness or disorder must provide medically competent evaluations from a professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist or psychiatric social worker. If drugs have been used to treat the condition, the claimant’s pharmacological records must be provided in addition to medical records.

Vocational evidence for a mental condition or disorder is similar to the evidence that may be submitted for a disabling illness. The applicant must prove the inability to perform economically gainful activity, which the SSA defines as not more than $1060 per month. Vocational evidence may consist of statements from supervisors and coworkers. Various tests are also used to establish a person’s level of functioning. The applicant must prove that the disability will last for at least 12 months or is expected to result in the applicant’s death.

Proving any disability can be difficult. Anyone who is wondering about seeking SSDI benefits may wish to consult an attorney who is experienced in handling SSDI claims. A knowledgeable lawyer can help a claimant gather necessary evidence and submit it to the SSA. In the event that a claim is denied, a lawyer can assist in filing and prosecuting an appeal.