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Can I get SSD for a mental illness?

Applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be a complex process, especially when it comes to mental health illnesses.

Many individuals may wonder if their condition qualifies them for support.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for SSD benefits based on mental health illnesses, the Social Security Administration requires that the condition significantly impairs the individual’s ability to work. The impairment should be severe enough to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

Documenting your mental health condition

Proving the severity of your mental health condition is a key aspect of the application process. Medical evidence plays a key role, including documentation from mental health professionals, hospital records and treatment history.

Listing of impairments

The SSA maintains a listing of impairments, which outlines specific criteria for various medical conditions, including mental health disorders. While meeting the criteria in the listing can strengthen your case, it is not the only way to qualify for benefits. If your condition does not precisely match the listing, the SSA will assess how it affects your ability to work.

Residual functional capacity

In cases where your condition does not meet the listing of impairments, the SSA will evaluate your residual functional capacity. RFC assesses your ability to perform work-related activities, considering your mental and physical limitations. The SSA will then determine if there are any jobs in the national economy that you can still perform.

In 2022, approximately 8.9 million people received SSD benefits, some of which were for mental health illnesses. Understanding the process of receiving benefits may help bolster your application.