Do You Suffer From A Mental Illness? You May Be Eligible For Social Security Benefits

May marks National Mental Health Awareness Month, aimed at raising awareness and advocacy across the country, and bringing communities together to sponsor activities aimed at increasing public education about mental illnesses.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) sponsors the drive. According to the organization, mental illnesses can include severe depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder.

NAMI reported that one in four adults, or about 62 million Americans, experiences a mental illness episode each calendar year, with nearly 14 million people experiencing severe complications relating to illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or severe depression.

According to NAMI, serious mental illnesses cost American workers about $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year.

I Suffer From a Mental Illness. Can I Collect Disability?

Some people who suffer from mental illnesses are eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Someone collecting SSDI may have a mental illness that has allowed him or her to work earlier in life, but does not now. Disability benefits are based on a person’s work history, so if he or she has not performed work in the past but has a mental illness, he or she may only be eligible for SSI. For further information on qualifications, we suggest you visit our FAQ page.

It should also be noted that if a person’s mental RFC (residual functional capacity) shows that he or she is able to do limited functions in a work environment, he or she may also be eligible for a medical-vocational allowance depending on his or her age, education level and job skills.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

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