In the United States, mental conditions are incredibly common. In 2012, it was estimated that more than 43 million adults aged 18 years or older had some mental illness or impairment, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. While some people's conditions did not impact their day-to-day lives, for other people their conditions caused significant enough impairment to force them out of work.
Most people who have a disabling mental condition and are no longer able to work often apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration. But as so many of our readers know from reading our past blog posts, this process can be complex and oftentimes frustrating. That's because not all applications are approved the first time around, which then leads to an appeals process that may be as equally frustrating as the application process.
For people who have mental conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, anxiety and panic disorders -- just to name a few -- the entire process for benefits can be particularly frustrating. This is because even though their condition may meet the Social Security Administration's definition of a disability, it's much more difficult to prove the existence of a mental condition than it is to prove a physical impairment.
This means that an applicant must not only have the right medical information to present with their case but they must be able to effectively prove that their condition is in fact disabling. This is not considered an easy task by most, which is why getting help from an experienced lawyer may be necessary.
Because of a lawyer's legal background, they have a better understanding of the law than most people. This means that they not only know what laws apply to the benefits system but what laws will apply to each person's situation as well. With their help, a person can make sure that they are presenting all necessary information that helps prove their claim and need for benefits. Without the help of a lawyer, this may be difficult and may lead to a denied application and subsequent appeal.