How Can I Prove That My Mental Illness is Preventing Me From Working?

Mental illness impacts millions of individuals across the country. Mental disorders include cognitive, emotional, psychological, and psychiatric problems that severely debilitate functioning. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, mental illness is defined as “a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling, or mood, which affects someone’s ability to relate to others and function every day.” Oftentimes, it is difficult to prove that mental illness prevents you from working because the illness usually appears invisible to others. But there are ways to demonstrate your disability to the Social Security Administration (SSA). A Philadelphia Social Security Disability lawyer from Larry Pitt & Associates can help you with your claim.

Important information needed to demonstrate mental illness disability

An experienced Philadelphia social security disability attorney knows how to substantiate a claim based on a psychological disability. Evidence can include:

  • Medical record documentation. Applicants need clinical notes from mental health professionals and records from mental health facilities and treating psychiatrists, psychologists, and physicians. These notes and records should indicate an inability to engage and persist in normal daily activities that is indicative of an inability to function at work. It is also important to show that you are receiving and complying with treatment and continuing in treatment while in the process of claiming Social Security Disability benefits.
  • Third-party questionnaires. Friends and family are contacted and asked about your condition and social functioning, which refers to your ability to interact with others in appropriate, effective, and lasting ways.
  • Activities of daily living (ADL) questionnaires. Activities may include cooking, cleaning, paying bills, and tending to hygiene. If these activities cannot be performed or cannot be performed without direct supervision, in a fitting manner, on a consistent and routine basis, or without necessary distractions, your ability to work will be compromised.
  • Mental residual functional capacity (MRFC) form. This form is used to document limitations in various functional areas that would indicate someone is not able to engage in substantial work activity.
  • Psychiatric review technique form (PRTF). The form is used to evaluate the severity of a mental impairment.

Individuals with mental illness who are unable to work deserve disability benefits, just as persons with physical disabilities do. Philadelphia social security disability lawyers can help you to understand the eligibility criteria for your mental illness and the process of demonstrating your inability to work. The SSA recognizes several categories of mental disorders that may be considered for SSD, each with its own set of criteria. A disability examiner will review the documentation and decide if the applicant meets the requirements and conditions of a listed mental illness per the Disability Evaluation Under Social Security Handbook, or the “blue book.”

To learn more about mental disability, the eligibility requirements, and necessary documentation, contact a Philadelphia social security disability attorney at Larry Pitt & Associates. Our lawyers can help you in receiving the benefits that you need. Please contact us for a free consultation at 888.PITT.LAW. We serve clients throughout the Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties.



Larry Pitt

Larry Pitt

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