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Mental Health Issues That Qualify You For Disability Insurance

Meredith Miller | Published: June 14, 2018

3D mental health interpretation

For those who suffer from a mental health disorder, day-to-day routines such as working can become difficult, if not impossible, to do. Even with mental health insurance to aid in treatment, these disorders can become a financial burden. It's why so many turn to mental health disability for help.

Getting disability for physical ailments can be a long, difficult process as it is. Mental health disability can be an even tougher battle. It benefits to learn more about it all including the requirements if you or someone you know is interested in obtaining disability insurance for mental health issues.

Mental Health Insurance

Before you discover more details about mental health disability insurance, it is helpful to have an understanding of mental health insurance in general.

First, there is help available when it comes to covering some treatment costs. With the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Act, certain insurance companies are not allowed to charge more for or place greater limitations on those with mental health issues.

Even with that, the coverage you receive is still based on your exact insurance plan. Also, there are some loopholes found in this act. For instance, self-insured private employers that have 50 or fewer employees don't have to adhere to the federal regulations from the act.

Mental Health & Disability

Many Americans with mental health issues can find financial assistance using mental health disability insurance. Both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can provide that assistance. These programs are provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

To define "disability" using the SSA terms, it is the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) …." That is anticipated to last continually for more than 12 months or the probability of it resulting in death.

Since mental impairment is used, it is clear that those with mental health issues can seek medical and financial aid by acquiring some form of disability. Unfortunately, getting mental health disability can be a trying task.

For SSDI, your case is not always reviewed by professionals in the mental health field. A lack of knowledge on their end can negatively impact your case. So, for the sake of getting accepted for mental health disability insurance, it is important to provide thorough evidence concerning your condition.

Furthermore, you are required to have worked and paid taxes if you want to be considered for SSDI. Those with a severe mental health disability may find that task difficult to accomplish.

For SSI, there is a general requirement that you must earn less than $733 if you are single or less than $1100 if you're a couple. It is based on need, and to be considered for it, there is no work history required.

If you or someone you know is struggling to manage mental health issues that have kept them from ever working, going for SSI may yield better results than SSDI.

Mental Disability Benefits Amount

Typically, the mental disability benefits amount is similar to those who receive aid for physical illnesses. Those who are on SSI, regardless of disability type, are eligible to receive a base amount of $750. No matter, the actual amount you will get depends on your state, income, and whether or not you're married.

With SSDI, the mental disability benefits amount is largely based on your previous lifetime earnings. You can receive an estimated $700-$1,700 per month; however, the number can fluctuate up or down depending on outside factors such as other income sources.

Qualifications for Disability Benefits

No matter which route you go down to earn some form of mental disability benefits amount, there are specific requirements they look for you to have. According to the Blue Book used by SSA, there are nine categories concerning mental health issues:

  • Affective Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Autism & Related Disorders
  • Mental Retardation
  • Organic Mental Disorders
  • Personality Disorders
  • Schizophrenia, Paranoia, & Psychotic Disorders
  • Somatoform Disorders
  • Substance Addiction

There are many other mental health disorders that can qualify you to earn mental health insurance disability benefits. Those include various mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), eating disorders, memory loss, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.

When it comes to submitting evidence of your mental health issues, the SSA will look at documentation not just from your primary care provider, but from any other hospital or clinic, you received treatment at. Though you are responsible for providing this proof, the SSA can provide assistance in getting it.