THE SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BLOG

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Can Someone with Bipolar Disorder Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Yes, depending on the severity and other factors, Social Security disability benefits may be awarded to someone who is disabled due to Bipolar Disorder.

Known more commonly in the past as Manic Depressive Disorder, Bipolar Disorder is a psychiatric illness characterized by periods of extreme euphoria followed by bouts of severe depression. Bipolar Disorder is considered a category of several mood disorders that affects 5.7 million American adults, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The Disorder normally manifests itself between childhood and late adolescence.

Signs of the depressive phase of this mental illness include persistent feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, anger, guilt, sadness, isolation, fatigue, irritability, lack of motivation, chronic pain, morbid suicidal ideation, self-loathing and depersonalization. In severe cases individuals can become psychotic.

Ways to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to Bipolar Disorder

If the Bipolar Disorder is constant and impairs most abilities to function in a work environment, the Claimant may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits if he/she meets the evaluation criteria listed in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book”, and has received a medical vocational disability endorsement based on the person’s residual functional ability, education and age. These requirements are also known as meeting the “Listings” and are fairly rigid in evidentiary proof.

To meet the “Listing,” a Claimant must have a history of consistent manic or depressive episodes, or a combination of both. The Claimant’s Bipolar Disorder should result in two (2) of the following three (3) restrictions:

  • Severe limitation of daily activity,
  • Inability to interact with others in a normal way, or
  • Recurring episodes the condition worsening which last for an extended period of time.

A second and easier method of proving Social Security Disability involves evidence of an overall reduction in the Claimant’s remaining functional capacity, based on age, education, and prior work efforts. If the mental residual functioning is very limited and the person is incapable of meeting the demands of basic routine repetitive activities, the Claimant could be determined disabled under this general assessment.

If you, family, or friends are dealing with Bipolar Disorder that interferes with your ability to work and you would like to talk about Social Security Disability benefits, contact our office for a free consultation.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY QUESTIONS

Q. What if I am getting Workers' Compensation benefits?

SS law requires that all other benefits you receive be accounted for. This accounting normally means that SS benefits are offset or reduced by the other benefits you receive. While Federal law requires you to report all payments you receive, the offset can often be lessened or eliminated with very careful planning and legal wording in your Workers' Compensation settlement. You should consult your lawyer for proper wording.

Q. What happens when I am denied?

Most claimants are denied several times before they receive a favorable decision on their claim. DO NOT GIVE UP. Your best opportunity to prove your disability occurs with a lawyer at an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing. You have paid SS taxes for years and should pursue your rights to get SS benefits aggressively.

Q. What happens in a SS disability hearing?

A. SS disability hearings are informal. The decisions are made by an Administrative Law Judge, most of whom live in Greenville, SC. The people likely to be present at the actual hearing are you, the Judge, a court reporter, and your lawyer. In some cases, the Administrative Law Judge has a medical doctor or vocational expert present to testify at the hearing. SS hearings do not have any jurors, spectators, or lawyers representing SS. Some hearings in Western NC are now conducted by closed circuit television by Judges who live all over the United States.

Q. What witnesses or evidence will I need at the hearing?

Since most of the issues for hearing involve medical questions, medical reports from your treating doctors are critical. Doctors are not asked to attend SS hearings. ALJs will not decide the claim based on the number of witnesses. You should consult with your lawyer about the witnesses you need as well as the questions you will be asked.

Q. Can I draw Social Security if I have never worked full time?

A. Yes. If you are unable to work at any job for a period of twelve (12) months or more AND have financial need, you may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSI is a special program of the Social Security Administration that provides benefits to individuals who have not worked on a full time basis. Even if you have worked in the past, you might be eligible for SSI. You should consult a qualified lawyer to understand the types of Social Security programs for which you may be eligible.

Q. What is the difference between Social Security and SSI?

A. Both Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are programs of the Social Security Administration. Both SSD and SSI require the same basic requirement for coverage- an inability to work at any job for a period of twelve (12) months or more. SSD benefits are based on the taxes you have paid into the system before you became disabled. SSI benefits are based on financial need.

SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY VIDEOS

Our Video Library is not closed-captioned.  Instead of embedding our videos, we have created posts for them, where full transcripts of can be found. Click on the links below to view the video and its transcript.

Social Security Detail

Social Security – Detail

Social Security part 4

Social Security Part 4

Social Security part 3

Social Security Part 3

Social Security part 2

Social Security Part 2

Social Security part 1

Social Security Part 1

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Rules Regarding Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Social Security Hearing Timeframe

Resolution of Social Security Disability Cases: A Timeframe Overview

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Claims

Contemporaneous Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefit

Working While on Social Security

Social Security Disability and Your Employment

Appealing Social Security Denials

Appealing the Denial of Your Social Security Disability Claim

Work History Requirements

Work History Requirements for Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Drug and Alcohol Dependency and Social Security Disability

Child Eligibility for Social Security

Child Eligibility for Social Security Benefits and Social Security Insurance

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in Social Security Disability

The Administrative Law Judge’s Role in the Social Security Appellate Hearing

Compassionate North Carolina Social Security Disability Lawyer

David Gantt describes his History in Helping People with Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Cases

~ What Our Clients Say ~

2019 Google Review

August 7, 2019

The entire staff were welcoming, knowledgeable, helpful, and nice people! David was professional. He knew exactly what he was talking about and did what he said he was going to do. I have had a wonderful experience with this firm and will not hesitate to use them in the future.

2019 AVVO Review “Get ‘er done Gantt!”

July 10, 2019

I was very satisfied with David Gantt’s expertise and knowledge in all aspects handling my case. He dealt with all the paperwork and contacted all necessary providers to get my medical history – it was extremely hassle free! He communicated and counseled me on what to expect – being very forthcoming (he’s a straight shooter)!…

2019 Facebook review

June 5, 2019

I highly recommend Mr. Gantt. He is very kind and always professional. He prepared me for my disability hearing and calmed my nerves. Everything happened exactly as he said it would. I honestly do not think that I would have been approved for disability without his help. Also, his office staff were always ready to…

2019 Google Review

May 28, 2019

Mr. Gantt took good care of me. I will be forever grateful for him getting me the social security payments I need for a disability due to military service. He seems like a genuine compassionate good man. I highly recommend! ~C.M.

2019 Google Review

May 10, 2019

David and his entire staff are so nice and show compassion to everybody. He was there when I had any questions. David Gantt is the best attorney in his field, he goes above and beyond. I am extremely grateful to him and his staff. ~M.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

Very nice and friendly service. They always answered any of my questions. Had a great experience working with them on my disability case. I highly recommend there services! After trying for 6 years and 2 unfavorable decisions, David and his team did a great job representing my case and won. I appreciate there time and…

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

The whole office is very respectful. Answered all my questions. So Glad they were there cause I had no clue after fighting for 2 years. Thank you guys soo much. ~K.H.

2019 Google Review

May 9, 2019

I am very grateful to David Gantt & his staff! They were wonderful and made the confusing process much easier to understand. I wish I had contacted them sooner. They were super to work with and such nice people! Thank you so much! ~K.S.

Avvo Review 2019

May 7, 2019

Mr. Gantt is a highly compassionate and professional lawyer. He worked hard for me to show my disabilities. Always pleasant and supportive, while being very much on top of his cases. I recommend David Gantt to anyone. Great Attorney! 5 Stars. ~ Dakota

Google Review 2019

April 10, 2019

Wonderful client services..very friendly and willing to go the extra mile to help clients. highly recommend him for anyone needing assistance for the Disability SSI. ~T.D.

2019 Google Review

April 9, 2019

I am so grateful to Mr. Gantt & his staff. They have been so professional and knowledgeable. They’ve answered all of my questions and made a very stressful situation, bearable. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Gantt. He is knowledgeable, professional & caring. ~J.H.

Avvo Review 2019

April 8, 2019

Linda Calloway Mundy David Gantt is an outstanding Lawyer. I highly recommend him. He was beside me all the way and I would like to thank him. ~Linda 5 Stars

2019 Google Review

March 9, 2019

David Gantt and his staff are very professional, upfront, honest and nice. They made me feel at ease discussing my case. They helped me with every step of the way towards my disability approval. I would recommend them to anyone. They kept me updated on everything. Just wish I had contacted them sooner. ~D.P.S.

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

When I applied for Social Security Disability I saw no reason that I would need a lawyer since my case seemed clear. It wasn’t until the second rejection that I realized that I had no idea how the system worked. A couple of local lawyers I had contacted suggested that I talked to David Gantt…

2019 Google Review

February 10, 2019

This office is fantastic. The staff is helpful and friendly. He is honest with you about the pros and cons of your case. He works hard to get a positive result. ~S.G.

Martindale Review 2019

January 21, 2019

5.0/5.0 in Social Security. David was very professional, pleasant and focused on me and my situation while I was in his office. He did not allow interruptions. His office staff was helpful and readily available when I had questions.

Martindale Review 2018

October 8, 2018

Recommended 5.0/5.0 in Social Security. I highly recommended David Gantt. He is a kind and generous person. He puts you at ease from the minute that you meat him. Very efficient and does what he says he’ll do. His staff is awesome too. Trust me… You can’t go wrong with David Gantt.