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Bipolar Disorder and Social Security Disability

Bipolar Disorder is a mental disorder characterized by periods of elevated mood and periods of depression.  There are several different types of bipolar disorders. Symptoms of the elevated moods (mania) include:
  •     Feeling very elevated and optimistic
  •     Talking so rapidly you are difficult to understand
  •     Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
  •     Feeling extremely energetic even though you are getting little sleep
  •     You act recklessly without thinking of the outcome
  •     Racing thoughts
  •     Feeling extremely irritable
  •     You are highly distracted
  •     You find it difficult to concentrate
  •     Impaired judgment
  •     Impulsiveness
  Symptoms of the depression lows include:
  •     Feeling hopeless or sad
  •     Irritability
  •     Change of appetite
  •     You no longer experience pleasure
  •     Weight loss or gain
  •     Fatigue
  •     Sleep disturbance
  •     Difficulty concentrating
  •     Feelings of worthlessness
  •     Suicidal thoughts
  How do you know if you qualify for social security disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder?  It depends on if your symptoms affect your ability to work a full-time, 40 hour per week job as well as your age, education and past work experience. Many younger individuals are being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.  Just being diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however, is not enough.    It also depends on how severe your symptoms are.  Many individuals whom have bipolar disorder are able to work a full-time job.  However, if you have severe symptoms which have required you to be hospitalized several times each year then you may not be able to work a full-time job.  Some individuals with bipolar disorder find it impossible to maintain a schedule.  If that is the case then it would be extremely difficult for that person to perform any job. It is important to keep in mind that your chances of being approved for social security disability benefits are greatly improved if you are being treated by a mental health professional.  If you do not receive treatment then the social security administration tends to view your bipolar disorder as being non-severe. You may also qualify for social security disability if you meet a listing.  You can find the listing for bipolar disorder here. If you are uncertain if you qualify then you should speak to a social security disability attorney whom can review your case and advise you on your best course of action.  You can call Carol Brent at (716) 831-1111, anytime and she would be happy to answer any questions that you may have. Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.

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