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Can you get disability benefits for mental health issues?

As someone who has been traumatized by an accident, you know that it's not just the physical injury that leaves you scarred. Sometimes, the hardest part of an injury is overcoming what happened to cause it. The memories, flashbacks and nightmares are enough to wear away at you, leaving you with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Appropriately, the Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits offered in the United States are available to those who have psychological manifestations of injury. Mental impairments and disorders, as they're listed in the Disability Evaluation documentation from the Social Security Administration (SSA), must be proved through medical documentation.

Some of the mental health disorders listed by the SSA include:

  • The autism spectrum
  • Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder comorbidity
  • Impulse-control disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Stress- and trauma-related disorders

When you want to prove that you've developed a significant trauma-related disorder, you will need to show how it causes deficits in how you function in your daily life. Show how you are unable to work because of an inability to sleep and work safely. Show that you have night terrors or agoraphobia. If you have a medical document stating that you may not work, this will also benefit you when you apply for SSD.

It is not easy to live with mental health disorders, and the SSA recognizes that. It's well within your rights to seek out compensation to help you support yourself while you focus on your health and recovery. It's normal to receive a denial letter the first time, but with help, you can have the best chances of approval.

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