To collect Social Security for mental disability in Columbus, OH, you must ensure there is enough medical evidence to prove you cannot work and earn a living because of your medical condition. There are generally two ways you can prove this and win a disability case for mental illness:

  • Prove you meet one of the Social Security Administration’s impairment listings
  • Prove your condition prevents you from working through a residual functional capacity evaluation

These are the same standards you need to meet for any other disabling condition, but the process can be more difficult with a mental impairment because of the lack of physical evidence such as medical imaging and laboratory testing results to back up your claim.

Proving Your Mental Disability Prevents You from Working and Earning a Living

To collect Social Security for a mental disability in Columbus, OH, you must prove your mental disability qualifies as an impairing condition under Social Security Administration rules. The agency publishes a list of impairments known as the Blue Book. Section 12.00 of the Blue Book addressed mental health disorders.

As of 2019, the latest version of the Blue Book covers 11 categories of mental health conditions and the criteria you must meet to get approved for benefits based on that condition. These conditions include:

  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
  • Depressive, Bipolar and Related Disorders
  • Intellectual Disorder
  • Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
  • Personality and Impulse-Control Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

When you file your application, you will include contact information for your primary care doctor, any psychiatrists or psychologists you see, mental health care facilities where you receive treatment, and any other relevant care providers. The disability examiner who handles your file will then reach out to them to obtain your medical records and other evidence to prove you meet the qualifications under the applicable Blue Book impairment listing.

You Can Receive Disability Without Meeting a Blue Book Listing

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If you do not meet the criteria under a Blue Book listing related to your mental health diagnosis, you may still be able to receive disability based on your residual functional capacity (RFC). Your RFC evaluation looks at many other factors in addition to the severity of your diagnosed condition. This includes:

  • The effects of your medication on your ability to work
  • The total effects of all your medical conditions, in addition to the primary mental disability
  • Your training, education, and work experience
  • Your age
  • What type of work are able to perform
  • How long you can work
  • How often you can work

If the disability examiner finds you cannot work any job, you may qualify for disability based on your RFC.

You Also Need to Meet Certain Technical Criteria to Collect Disability for a Mental Condition in Columbus, OH

To win a disability case for mental illness, you not only need to show you have a mental disability that prevents you from working, but you also need to meet certain technical criteria. Each program has its own qualifications. These may include:

  • Having an earned income below the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit for SSDI
  • Having enough, and recent enough, work credits for SSDI
  • Having a low income and few resources for SSI

A staff member from the local field office will check your technical qualifications for the disability program you applied for. You must meet all technical criteria for disability benefits before the field office staff will send your application materials to the disability examiner.

You May Have to Fight a Disability Denial to Collect SSDI or SSI for a Columbus, OH, Mental Disability

Unfortunately, many applicants receive a denial notice based on their claim. This could be because of an oversight that leads to a technical denial, a problem with your claim, or missing medical evidence or other information Social Security is looking for. Sometimes, the disability examiner simply fails to approve someone who seems to meet all the qualifications.

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If this happens to you, you may need to begin the appeals process. The first step is to request a reconsideration. This means another disability examiner will evaluate your application and see if they offer approval. If not, you may need to request an appeal hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge.

The Ohio disability attorneys from Berger and Green can guide you through this process, even requesting the hearing for you if there is sufficient time to do so. We will fight for the Social Security Disability benefits you deserve.

Call (412) 661-1400 for a free review of your case with a member of our team.

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