Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability - Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Income?

Many people would consider Bipolar disorder to be a disability simply because it affects much aspect of the person's life. While it is not impossible for many people with bipolar disorder to lead productive lives, some are struggling very hard as the disorder can affect their work performance to a big extent. If you are one of those with bipolar disorder and finding it hard to lead a normal working life due to your condition, you might just qualify for Social Security Disability Income by the United States government.

Depending on the seriousness of your illness, listed below are five of the things to look out for to determine if you are eligible for Social Security Disability Income.

The first condition the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at is if an individual is currently working. According to the SSA definition, if one is "engaging in substantial gainful activity" and earning more than $860 a month, that condition is enough to disqualify that person from receiving any disability benefits.

Secondly, the SSA looks at the seriousness of the impairment that bipolar disorder has caused. The disorder must be serious and severe enough considerably to affect one's ability to perform basic work and activities needed to do in most jobs to get paid. According to the SSA definition - the condition must limit the person's ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, see, hear, speak, understand simple instructions, use good judgment, interact appropriately with coworkers and supervisors, and deal with changes in a routine work setting.

Thirdly, to see if bipolar disorder meets the criteria of a medical listing under mental disorders, a list of symptoms are used. The symptoms are anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), appetite or sleep disturbances, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, thoughts of suicide or hallucinations, difficulty concentrating or thinking, psychomotor agitation, and delusions or paranoid thinking.

Some also consider if the bipolar disorder causes restrictions of activities of daily living, impairs social functioning, causes deficiencies of concentration, affects persistence or pace, and the existence of repeated episodes of decompensation, or inability to maintain normal or appropriate psychological defenses, of an extended period of time.

Fourthly, SSA will look into the ability of an individual to perform work if any in the past despite having bipolar disability. If SSA believes that a person can do his past work without much stress and difficulties, benefits are denied.

Lastly, the SSA uses vocational rules to determined what other work if any, a person can perform. There are different vocational rules for different age groups to follow. For example, anyone under the age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, unable to perform what Social Security Administration calls sedentary work, then they will reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours, and occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.

Most people think that it is a shame to be going on disability and it is disgraceful to be named as disabled. But, if someone honestly put in the effort to try working and failed, Disability is there to take care of them. This is what disability is designed for. Only dishonored, able bodied people who try to claim Disability are a true shame.

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