Personality disorders can cause potentially serious problems with work and relationships. Those with one of these mental health conditions have behaviors and emotions that differ drastically from societal expectations and norms. If your doctor diagnosed you with one of these disorders, your ability to adapt to new situations may suffer due to your emotions, thought processes, and behaviors.
Some people who suffer significant impairments because of a personality disorder diagnosis may be eligible to draw government-provided disability benefits, including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
For more information about qualifying for Social Security Disability for personality disorders in Pittsburgh, contact the attorneys at Berger and Green today. We can answer your questions about the process and ensure the Social Security Administration (SSA) has all the information they need to process your claim. If they deny your request for benefits, we will fight aggressively on your behalf. Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation.
How can a personality disorder prevent someone from working?
Several different mental conditions fall under the umbrella of personality disorders, including:
- Schizoid personality disorder;
- Schizotypal personality disorder;
- Paranoid personality disorder;
- Antisocial personality disorder;
- Borderline personality disorder;
- Narcissistic personality disorder;
- Histrionic personality disorder;
- Dependent personality disorder;
- Avoidant personality disorder; and
- Obsessive-compulsivepersonality disorder.
The symptoms of each of these mental illnesses vary widely on a case-by-case basis, depending on the diagnosis, any other related conditions, and how the disorder affects you specifically. Some people suffer from self-destructive tendencies, including severely negative emotions, anger, shame, self-harm, and chaotic relationships in both personal and work settings.
A personality disorder can make working extremely difficult. Sometimes there is no way to help someone maintain employment because of their symptoms. If your personality disorder prevents you from working, you may qualify for disability. Our attorneys can help you navigate the claims process with the SSA.
What does the SSA say about personality disorders?
The SSA outlines the criteria to qualify as disabled in a series of impairment listings known as “the Blue Book.” The criteria for personality disorders are in Section 12.00 – Mental Disorders.
To qualify for disability programs based on a personality disorder, you need to meet specific, verifiable medical requirements. These include:
- Intense suspicion, distrust, or paranoia;
- Detached or unstable relationships and friendships;
- Careless and reckless acts toward others;
- Attention-seeking behaviors;
- Excessive emotional outbursts;
- Feelings of inadequacy;
- High level of dependence on others;
- Obsession with perfectionism that limits your abilities; or
- Aggressive behaviors and outbursts.
The SSA will also look at how well you are able to function in your daily life. They will examine your ability to:
- Comprehend and use information as necessary;
- Have normal interactions with supervisors, coworkers, and customers;
- Focus and continue working at a steady pace; and
- Adapt to change or manage tasks.
If you believe you may meet these criteria, we encourage you to contact us. We can help you understand the SSA’s qualification requirements for disability.
What if I do not meet these qualifications?
You can still qualify for disability benefits without meeting the specific criteria in the impairment listings. This is possible because the SSA will investigate the limitations that prevent you from working and will complete a mental residual functional capacity assessment.
Your mental residual functional capacity explains your impairments in detail, outlines what type of tasks you are capable of completing, and how often and how long you can do these tasks. This allows them to compare your abilities to the necessary tasks of every job you worked in the past, as well as a variety of unskilled jobs. If you cannot work any of these jobs, you may qualify for benefits.
Why is seeing a doctor so important in getting disability benefits for a personality disorder?
Your medical records and statements from your doctor about your condition play a key role in qualifying for and retaining disability benefits. The SSA needs to see medical proof that your personality disorder causes significant symptoms in your daily life. To do that, they will want to speak with the medical professionals who have treated your condition.
We can ensure the SSA gets all the information they need to contact your care providers and approve your claim. However, it is up to you to see your doctor regularly and follow all his or her orders.
You should keep all appointments with your care providers and stay on any prescribed medications. Following recommended treatments and creating a record that demonstrates what you have done to manage your disorder is key in getting the benefits you need. Even if you believe you are recovering, continue to follow your doctor’s orders. Not doing so could jeopardize your disability benefits.
How can a Pittsburgh disability attorney help me qualify for benefits?
At Berger and Green, we have extensive experience helping those suffering from mental illness secure benefits from the SSA. We understand the unique situation you are going through and can help you navigate the complicated and sometimes stressful claims process.
We will evaluate your claim before you apply for benefits to make sure it is complete and free from errors and omissions. We know what the SSA is looking for when it evaluates disability claims. With our help, you stand a better chance of winning approval.
If you have already applied for disability and the SSA denied your claim, we can help. We will work with you throughout the appeals process and help you win the benefits you need for your personality disorder.
How can I talk to an attorney for free about my claim?
If a personality disorder has kept you from working for at least 12 months, you may qualify for disability benefits. Let the attorneys at Berger and Green help you secure the monthly payments you need.
We will put our skill and experience to work for you. Call us at 412-661-1400 for your free consultation today.