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Yes, you may be entitled to receive social security disability benefits if you have a mental illness. And no, you do not necessarily have to be diagnosed with the “banging your head against the wall” type of mental illness to qualify for SSI or SSDI benefits.

Although a wide variety of mental illnesses are covered by the social security disability program in Washington and all across the U.S., proving your eligibility and collecting SSI or SSDI benefits when you have a mental illness is much more complicated than seeking social security disability benefits for a physical injury.

In a nutshell, you may be entitled to seek social security disability benefits if your mental illness limits your ability to work or provide for yourself financially or makes it impossible to maintain your employment to afford such basic necessities as a roof over your head, clothes, and food.

An Everett mental illness and Social Security Disability attorney at Russell & Hill, PLLC, warns that there are certain things you should know about the process of collecting SSI or SSDI benefits for a mental illness. And today, we are going to do our best to help you understand how this process works.

Does your mental illness qualify for social security disability benefits?

If you have a mental illness that limits your ability to work, you may qualify for either Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The main difference between SSDI and SSI benefits is that the former is available to those who accumulated a certain number of work credits from working and paying into Social Security taxes. SSI benefits, on the other hand, are available to low-income workers who have either (a) never worked or (b) not earned enough work credits to receive SSDI benefits.

If you are seeking social security benefits for a mental illness, do not expect the social security disability claims adjuster or examiner reviewing your case to know all the details about your mental illness or how it impacts your earning capacity.

That’s why an experienced mental illness and Social Security Disability attorney in Everett or elsewhere in Washington is often the best “intermediary” between you and the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make sure that the latter is always on the same page about how your mental illness affects your ability to work and earn a living.

Can you seek SSI or SSDI benefits for a mental illness?

Even if you have been diagnosed with a certain mental illness by a medical professional, it does not necessarily mean that you are guaranteed to collect SSI or SSDI benefits. After all, not all mental illnesses qualify for social security disability. If you have a hard time finding your mental illness on the list of medical conditions that qualify for SSDI or SSI, do not hesitate to speak to a lawyer.

A lawyer can also help you if you have not been diagnosed with a mental illness but are absolutely certain that symptoms of your medical condition meet the eligibility threshold required to collect social security disability benefits.

Why you need a social security disability attorney

Since the SSA is usually reluctant to give out disability benefits to those claiming to have a mental illness, it is paramount that you collect solid and compelling evidence about your mental illness. Therefore, collecting medical records is a good example of “compelling evidence,” while statements from your family members are not.

Our Everett social security disability attorneys from Russell & Hill, PLLC, will be able to help you collect sufficient evidence to prove that your mental illness qualifies for SSI or SSDI benefits. Contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation. Call our offices at 425-728-7467 today.

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