Many people seek to obtain Social Security Disability benefits due to a serious physical condition that prevents them from maintaining gainful employment. Additionally, struggling with a mental health disability can also qualify an individual for benefits. One challenging factor that might derail obtaining benefits is the condition’s onset date. The onset date is the date at which an individual became unable to work due to complications arising from a disabling medical condition.

For individuals who are hospitalized or were formerly hospitalized and are now claiming mental impairment, numerous types of evidence are considered when determining an onset date for the disabling condition, including:

  • Specific records and the complete medical history: Medical records and physician notes will be carefully examined when determining the onset date of the mental disability. Reports from medical professionals and facilities prior to the hospitalization will also be a key factor.
  • Statements made by the hospital staff: Detailed statements made by the hospital staff will be compared to the medical records to match up significant dates.
  • Statements made by non-medical individuals: Evidence from non-medical individuals will also be collected. These statements could include those from friends, family members, co-workers, supervisors and school officials. Relevant data will be sorted out and factored into the final determination.

Determining an onset date for physical or mental conditions can become a challenge due to numerous complex factors. It is wise to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney who can answer your questions and provide guidance uniquely tailored to your specific case.