People can experience the same medical condition with different degrees of severity and have unique symptoms. A condition that could completely prevent one person from retaining a job might be much more manageable in another individual.
These discrepancies in severity exist in physical illnesses, but they are particularly noteworthy when it comes to mental health conditions and people hoping to secure Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
In order for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to approve your claim and award you the benefits that you need, you will have to show that your condition prevents you from working, inhibits your ability to care for yourself and will persist for at least a year, if not the rest of your wife. Given that many mental health disorders are technically invisible, proper documentation is of the utmost importance to building a case for SSDI benefits.
Medical and psychological evaluations are a good start
The SSA recognizes that mental health conditions can qualify someone for SSDI benefits, but proving that your condition meets the standard for disabling can be difficult. You may have been seeing the same mental health professional for many years, which means that they will be able to thoroughly document your experiences and symptoms.
Submitting adequate documentation from a doctor directly involved in the diagnosis or treatment for your condition will help validate your claim. Having secondary testing performed by another doctor can also help in some cases, especially if that doctor does their evaluation independently and without input from the doctor treating you.
Documentation from employers and family members could also help you
If you worked a full-time job before the onset of your condition, your former employer or co-workers could perhaps help. They can provide statements or business records that help substantiate the claim that you were once a productive employee but eventually were no longer able to complete the tasks associated with your job because of the symptoms associated with your mental health condition.
Family members can also provide insight, as they may be the ones who see you when you are at your worst and also who help you manage your daily care. Especially for those with mental health conditions, and initial rejection could lead to a spiral of depression and frustration that might prevent an individual from seeking the benefits that they need.
Getting the documentation you need to support your claim can go a long way toward helping you get SSDI benefits for a serious mental health condition.