Social Security Benefits & Bipolar Disorder

Updated July 19, 2017

Bipolar Disorder (known as a mood or affective disorder) may cause a sufferer, to lead an indefinably stressful, confounding, and unsettling life.

Conclusive Diagnosis

Conclusive medical diagnosis, often delayed for years due to the insidious nature of the disease--with symptom expression that may come and go, change form, or suddenly get completely out of control for extended periods, may also eventually lead to complete disability.

Defying Self-Recognition, Living in a Delusional and Altered Reality

Unable to maintain a steady state of mind and pace of effort, you may seem fine, but inwardly feel debilitated with constant, intrusive, disruptive thoughts that prohibit a logical ratio of effort to accomplishment. Or you may go for several nights without any sleep, or believe you have extreme talent at work that is not knowledge shared by others in the office. Your mental focus may be so minimal that you slip into time/space disorientation and develop irrational fears. These conditions suggest bipolar total disability.

Social Security Disability Evaluation for Affective Disorders: 12.04, the SSA Blue Book

The Social Security Administration's (SSA) Blue Book is a compilation of all SSA disability law and disabling condition criteria data. Chapter 12.04 describes complex, multi-tiered evaluation and measuring methods for determining a given degree of bipolar disability. The chapter's complex details are beyond the scope of this article, however, if the right number and mix of criteria apply, the SSA, without further investigation, will find you disabled.

Winning Disability Benefit Receipt

Bipolar sufferers, if employed, are ineligible to apply for SSA disability benefits. Discuss your disorder with your treating physician. Determine whether just cause exists for finding you completely disabled. He will have to assist you with the SSA disability benefit forms.

Have Hope

If your doctor diagnoses you as completely disabled, there is expectation the SSA will too. Begin seeking SSA assistance with an application for disability benefits as soon as you are no longer working. Use the links below for assistance with obtaining the forms and understanding the SSA's standard operating procedures.

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About the Author

Deb Lindstrom has 20-plus years experience writing tech manuals, Humane Society pieces, business certificates, essays and manuscripts, and is now a freelance writer for eHow and other publications. She holds a B.S., magna cum laude, holds an M.L.I.S. degree, and almost has her M.S.I.T. and M.P.W. degrees.