To apply for ssi, you must prove that you’re disabled from performing past relevant work for at least 12 months and that there are no alternative occupations that you’re able to perform. So before applying consider if there are any jobs that you could reasonably take on without needing additional help or special treatment from your employer.
Medical records, treating physicians and mental health professionals must be presented in your case, especially from a psychologist or psychiatrist.
If information regarding your mental state is insufficient, Social Security will send you to an independent doctor for a mental consultative exam so that your recent medical information is on file prior to a disability decision being rendered.
Consultative exams are a one-time visit with a psychologist or psychiatrist, paid by Social Security, to perform an exam that contains the fundamentals of a standard mental evaluation.
Examples of mental disabilities that can make you eligible for SSI benefit payments include: brain injuries, diminished intellectual functioning, schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, major depression, panic disorder, agoraphobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism and other developmental disorders.
Mental impairments can result from traumatic injury, psychiatric illness, congenial conditions or other causes. However, mental impairments directly related to illegal drug use or alcoholism won’t support a successful SSI claim.
In regard to a claim for mental anxiety, Social Security will want to know if there are medically documented findings showing motor tension, autonomic hyperactivity, apprehensive expectation, vigilance and scanning, persistent irrational fear of something, recurrent severe panic attacks, recurrent obsessions or compulsions, recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience, restrictions of daily living activities, difficulties maintaining social functioning, difficulties maintaining concentration, pace or persistence, or compete inability to function independently outside of one’s home. The more of these symptoms that are displayed, and the more severe, the better the chances are of an SSI claim being granted. In general, anxiety claims are severe enough to be granted disability, but when combined with other disabilities, it can make a strong claim.
If you are unsure whether or not your claim would qualify for SSI benefits, it’s best to get an application anyway. If you wait too long you may lose your eligibility and possibly months of benefits due to waiting to apply.