In the fight for better mental health access, it’s important to remember that mental illnesses can be disabilities as well. Like any disability, mental illness can make certain tasks harder and put you in situations where it may be difficult to make ends meet. As March is Disability Awareness Month, let’s go over the ways mental illness can be classified as disability, and ways in which you can receive assistance.
As stated above, what turns a mental illness into a disability is how It affects your ability to perform daily tasks. If it makes it so that you are unable to work or participate in regular tasks, for the purposes of the government, you are counted as having a disability.
The main way that one can receive aid for a mental illness disability is through Social Security disability benefits, of which about 35% of recipients receive for mental illness. These benefits act like those for anyone with disability, helping to provide aid in times of need. The SSA offers a list of conditions, which can be found here, though any condition that prevents you from working also qualifies you.
However, mental illness claims are much harder to make due to several factors. One is that mental health issues vary from person to person. People suffer from mental illness in different ways, and doesn’t always look the same, making it harder for it to be evaluated. This can make people skeptical of your condition.
Building off of that, showing proof of mental illness can also be difficult. Like with any disability, you need to show how it affects your daily life and ability to work, with all the documentation that is entailed. Compared to physical disability, this can be harder information and documentation to provide.
There are of course ways to help your case. Many in fact. This article here by Sydney Hershenhorn goes over the many different things you can do to better prepare your case for receiving benefits. Give it a read if you are considering applying for disability benefits through the SSA.
We hope that this information is helpful, and that those who need it receive the help that they need. Have a good March, and remember to reach out for help if you need it.