Maximize Your Chances to Win a Mental Health Disability Claim

  1. Social Security
  2. Maximize Your Chances to Win a Mental Health Disability Claim

When it comes to applying for mental health disability, you want to maximize your chances of getting approved the first time around. And according to the numbers, you’ll need all the help you can get. Only 42% of physical disability claims are approved on the first try. Unfortunately, for mental health claims, the odds are even lower. Over 72% of mental health claims are denied on the first submission; most require an appeal.

Memory loss due to dementia. Senior man losing parts of head as symbol of decreased mind function.

The rate of disapproval is higher because, unlike a physical illness, proving a mental illness can be very difficult. However, there are ways to maximize your chances of being approved for a mental health disability claim the first time.

Make Sure the SSA Recognizes Your Mental Illness

The Social Security Administration must recognize your mental illness. The SSA publishes lists or recognized mental illnesses which qualify for SSD, which can be found here: Social Security Administration Blue Book.

Here are some of the most commonly recognized mental illnesses:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Learning disabilities
  • PTSD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Somatic symptom disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s or dementia)

Keep Accurate Documentation

Female counselor writing down some information about her patient

Medical documentation can mean the difference between winning or losing your mental health disability claim. For most mental illnesses, you will need to prove that you’ve been taking medication for at least two years or more and that you have not seen any marked improvements as a result.

  • Diagnosis paperwork that explains what you have been dealing with.
  • Brain scans (if applicable) that document the physical manifestation of the illness.
  • Treatment records such as therapy or medications showcase the methods and their effects on you.
  • Episodes of increased symptoms or any well-documented effects these have on activities of daily living.

Get a Formal Medical Statement About Your Mental Illness

Doctor giving consult for prostate problems to patient. Urologic oncologists specialize in treating cancer of the urinary tract and male reproductive organs. Mens health problem concept.

Ask your doctor during a follow-up or routine checkup to give a written statement about your mental illness. This letter should contain essential details that will support your application. For more information about how your doctor may or may not be able to help with your claim, read our blog about Reasons a Judge May Not Rely on Your Doctor’s Opinion.

Make Sure the Application is Complete

SSD applications can be a long and tedious process to complete on your own. Thus, it is common for people to overlook or misrepresent certain items on their application, rendering it incomplete and thereby postponing their disability claim.

Hiring a legal expert, like the team at Parmele Law Firm, will make the application process easier, saving you time, minimizing your stress, and increasing the likelihood of a successful application. Our staff will review every piece of paperwork and ensure it is complete and accurate to maximize your chances of being awarded SSD compensation.

Stay Up to Date on the Status of Your Claim

There may be instances in which the SSA requests additional information beyond your initial application. In this case, any delay in acquiring this information or documentation can lead to additional time before your application is complete. For more information about the process of applying, read our Step-By-Step Guide.

With our experienced legal team guiding you, we will anticipate any common issues as well as quickly pivot and address unexpected issues with your SSD application.

Get Qualified Healthcare for Your Mental Illness

Get qualified healthcare for your psychiatric illness. Doing so will bolster the strength of your application and make it more likely for the Social Security Administration to approve your claim.

Comply with Treatment Recommendations

Hands holding cardboard box with pharmacy medications order close up

You must follow up with your treatment recommendations. The Social Security Administration will check to see whether you have been complying. If not, you will need an explanation, and this will be factored into the final decision for approval.


Prove that You Cannot Work Due to Your Mental Illness

To make sure your claim is undeniable, you will need to concretely prove that you are unable to work due to your mental illness. Like a physical disability, you must show direct proof through formal medical records and references. This is why it is so critical that you maintain good records.

Here are the most common items that you will need to submit as proof:

  • Medical records
  • Mental health status evaluation report (optional)
  • Support from your medical team
  • Proof that you are following your medical team’s recommendations
  • A Medical Source Statement presents the full scope of your symptoms to the Social Security Administration to better evaluate your claim. Parmele Law Firm has all clients complete this form as part of their claim.

Give an Honest Testimony at Your Disability Hearing

microphone in the courtroom

When giving your testimony, avoid exaggerations. Provide the honest truth. The easiest way to do this is to keep a journal. Using a journal means you will not have to commit every detail of your experience to memory.

Journaling does not have to be a time-consuming process. Simply write a few sentences each day about your daily routine, noting anything difficult or any pain and discomfort you are experiencing due to medication or lifestyle changes.

Hire a Qualified SSD Disability Lawyer

Studies show that hiring a legal expert to complete your SSD application considerably increases your chances of receiving a favorable decision. .

Most people are concerned with one thing: the cost of hiring an attorney. Here is the good news: you do not pay unless you win the case. Also, the maximum amount you can be charged is $7200. Whether we represent you for a year or your case continues longer, the maximum amount is the same.

Parmele Law Firm - Springfield, MO

With all of that in mind, allowing the experienced legal team at Parmele Law Firm to represent you is the best decision you can make when applying for SSD benefits. Our legal team has over 130 years of SSD experience and has helped over 55,000 clients get the disability benefits they deserve. We work with our clients at every step to ensure your chances of success are high. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your disability claim.

Contact us today to see how Parmele Law Firm can help with your Social Security Disability claim.

Mental Health Disability FAQs

While each case varies, we are currently seeing wait times of 3 to 5 months.

Getting rejected for an initial disability claim is common…but do not give up.. You can appeal the denial with the help of our legal staff.

By working, you are taking a risk that could undermine your case. Applying for disability means that you are trying to convince the government that you are incapable of working due to a mental illness. However, if you are currently working, you will have to see if the gross wages you earned are equal to or above Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA).

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