Bipolar Disorder Disability – How to Prove Your Claim to Receive Disability Benefits
Bipolar disorder is a disabling condition that prevents millions of people from being able to handle everyday activities, including their ability to earn a living. A person with bipolar goes from being depressed to a state of “euphoria” in a matter of moments. This “up-and-down” condition can make employment difficult even with medical treatment.
The unfortunate reality is that disability claims for mental impairments such as bipolar disorder are frequently rejected. Whether they are filed on an insurance policy, through the Veterans Administration, or Social Security disability programs, the chances of denial on an initial application are high.
Even the most medically supported and valid claims for bipolar-related disabilities may be denied initially. This is all the more reason why, as a claimant, you should to seek the help of a skilled and experienced disability lawyer.
What Is Bipolar Disorder Disability?
Also called “manic depression,” this condition is a brain disorder that can cause excessive mood swings, where a person cycles between depressive states and high states (mania). These cycles can occur over long periods or may occur at the same time.
During mania, the person may experience euphoria, rage, sleeplessness, and rushed thoughts and speech. In severe manic episodes, the patient may become delusional or suffer hallucinations. In the depressive state, the person suffers extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, too much or too little sleep, as well as suicidal thoughts and ideations. These unusual shifts in energy levels lead to an overall inability to function normally.
Many factors that are cited as causes of bipolar disorder disability include:
- Imbalance in brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters
- Hormonal imbalance
- Traumatic experiences or extreme stress
Bipolar disorder and depression can also accompany an illness or injury as a secondary condition.
Can You Get Social Security Disability for Bipolar Disorder?
Yes – bipolar disorder is designated in the Social Security Listing of Impairments manual under Mental Disorders, Listing 12.04 – Affective Disorders. If your affective disorder – in this case, bipolar disorder – is severe enough to meet or equal the listing, you will be considered disabled.
The listing characterizes bipolar disorder as:
“a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation.”
As a claimant, you must be viewed to be unable to work any job for at least twelve consecutive months in order to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.
Claims for Social Security Disability for bipolar disorder will be approved or denied primarily based on medical records. You must provide sufficient records as well as evidence of symptoms and psychological abnormalities that demonstrate your inability to work. Besides medical records, these documents may be helpful in proving your claim:
- Letters or other records from your doctor and/or therapist detailing how the effects of your bipolar condition persists despite treatment and other efforts to manage the condition.
- Letters from friends and family members detailing how your condition affects your daily life
- Letters from current and former employers discussing how your condition impacted your job performance
The best way to help your own cause is to get proper medical treatment and follow the advice and medication regimen your doctor gives you. By establishing a record of mental health treatment, you’ll improve your case for disability.
You may think your chances of winning benefits are over after a denial, but most initial SSDI applications for benefits are denied the first time. Do not give up hope.
Veterans with Bipolar Disorder Disability
Veterans suffering from disabling mental disorders that occurred in or were aggravated during service may obtain disability compensation. Bipolar disorder is considered a disability by the VA. It’s listed in their Schedule for Rating Disabilities under Mental Disorders, and specifically under Mood Disorders.
The VA rates disabilities according to loss of function and the effect on your ability to work and earn a living. The VA schedule doesn’t cover all forms of mental illnesses, despite how disabling the condition may be. An incorrect diagnosis could result in denial of benefits you would otherwise be entitled to receive for bipolar disorder.
Denied Bipolar Disorder Disability Claims for LTD Insurance
Marc Whitehead & Associates aggressively represents insurance policyholders that have had bipolar disability claims unfairly denied. We can help you fight the insurance company’s denial whether you personally bought the policy, or the policy was issued through your employer.
Many disability insurance policies contain language that classifies mental impairments such as bipolar disorder, as a mental nervous condition. Defined as such, typically only 24 months compensation is allowed. However, this may not be accurate if the bipolar disorder is a biologically based illness. This then becomes an argument of an unacceptable assignment of the disorder in the policy language.
Insurance companies will use many other tactics to defend their decision to deny your award of disability benefits. Common tactics include:
- Claims of misdiagnosis
- Lack of medical evidence
- Pre-existing condition clauses in the policy language
Strategies to overturn denied claims for bipolar disorder disability will vary greatly depending upon which type of long-term disability policy you are fighting.
We understand the reasons and excuses that insurance companies use to deny claims for mental disorders. Let us fight to hold your insurance company accountable, so you may recover the benefits you are due.
In our work with people suffering from bipolar disorder disability, we know that the very symptoms of the condition can create a misleading representation of the victim. When a person is in a state of elation and high energy, they may appear to be able to function in the workplace. An “on and off” work history may affect your eligibility for benefits.
As Board Certified Social Security Disability attorneys, we want you to know that we will personally work with you to provide the help you need to appeal the denial. No matter where you live, we can help.
As accredited Veterans claim attorneys, we know VA disability law. By understanding the reasons the VA denies and delays claims, we have helped many veterans with bipolar and other mental disorders win their rightful benefits.
We work with your doctors, family members and other third parties to substantiate your bipolar disability claim. We are able to support your physician and others with appropriate counsel and information regarding your condition to promote an accurate diagnosis according to VA disability requirements.
We understand what rating should be assigned for your level of bipolar disorder. We will gather the needed documentation to support the level of severity, and present all evidence to the VA in the most beneficial manner.
Work with Our Disability Claim Attorneys
Don’t hesitate to appeal a denied claim. The attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates helps people across the country overturn claim denials for bipolar and other mental disorders. In most cases, we will work on a contingency fee basis. This means that no retainer is required, and you don’t owe us a fee until we win your case.
Please call our law firm toll free at 800-562-9830 today to arrange a free consultation with a lawyer to see how we may help you recover benefits under a bipolar disability claim.