We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Is Bipolar A Disability?

Bipolar disorder is a medical condition that involves biological and psychosocial factors. The condition is considered to be one of 10 primary causes of disability in individuals across the globe. Both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Social Security Administration (SSA) refer to bipolar as a disabling condition. 

Depression and hypomania occurs in people with bipolar disorder II. Individuals with this form of bipolar may be eligible for bipolar disability benefits depending on the severity of their symptoms. Social Security statistics show that almost two-thirds of Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) applicants for major clinical depression or bipolar disorder get approved for aid.

What is bipolar disorder?

Bipolar disorder is associated with extreme mood swings. Patients suffer rapid mood swings episodes, from depressive lows to manic highs. The condition is formerly known as manic depression. It affects a substantial percentage of the world’s population, but the exact cause of the disease is not known. Symptoms of bipolar disorder disability include:

  • Manic episodes: Extremely high energy levels, reduced sleep, and thoughts of grandiosity.
  • Depressive episodes: Low energy, loss of interest in daily tasks, and low motivation.
  • Dangerous or even life-threatening symptoms can include reckless behavior and thoughts of suicide
  • Mood episodes can vary from person to person and last anywhere from days to months. However, depressive periods tend to last longer than manic periods.

Bipolar disorder is a psychological condition that is marked by two phases: a manic phase and a depressive phase. During the manic period, those suffering from the condition typically feel energized and happy. Oftentimes, individuals do not seek treatment during this period of optimism and even euphoria. Unfortunately though, it can cause problems for their disability claim.

Types of Bipolar Disorder

It can often be difficult to maintain employment for people with bipolar disorder. Furthermore, bipolar is a lifelong illness, and those with day-to-day challenges often seek disability for depression or bipolar. 

Following are the two types of bipolar disorder:

  • Bipolar 1 Disorder can cause episodes of severe moods ranging from mania to severe depression.  
  • Bipolar 2 Disorder can cause extreme mood changes, though they are less severe than with Type 1. With Type 2, an individual experiences hypomania, which is a milder form of mania, and depression.
  • Cyclothymic disorder can cause both hypomanic symptoms along with depressive symptoms. However, the mood durations are less intense in comparison to full hypomanic or full depressive episodes. 
  • In the mixed features type of bipolar disorder, there are frequent occurrences of symptoms that are either manic, hypomanic, or depressive. People may experience symptoms of mania and depression at the same time. 
  • Rapid cycling refers to a type of bipolar disorder in which an individual has four or more mood swings in the span of one year. Aside from the rapid pace of mood changes, individuals can exhibit highly variable symptoms. 

Regardless of the specific type of bipolar disorder, an individual may suffer from suicidal thoughts and/or severe depression. However, medication and counseling can help many patients reduce their negative thoughts and cope with other symptoms.

Can you get disability for bipolar?

Disability for Bipolar DisorderYes, you may be able to get SSDI benefits if you have bipolar disorder. Further, the disability must prevent you from working and limiting your day-to-day activities. 

To be approved for disability, you must show sufficient evidence to prove your bipolar disorder. This includes the initial diagnosis, to the consistent and ongoing documentation of your symptoms and treatment. 

The SSA will approve disability for Bipolar only when you have all supporting records to show your inability to work or function well. These documents can include:

  • Notes from your doctor or psychologist
  • Detailed evaluations of mental status
  • Psychological testing
  • In case of hospitalizations, all relevant documents and reports.

It can be helpful to become familiar with the Blue Book listing for bipolar disorder. Knowing these standards will allow you to understand what the SSA needs to approve your application.

Applying for bipolar disorder disability benefits

To determine whether you have bipolar disorder, you may need a physical exam, psychiatrist assessment, mood charting, and sometimes additional requirements. 

To seek benefits based on depression, you must have at least five of the following bipolar disorder symptoms:

  • Consistently depressed mood
  • Oversleeping or insomnia
  • Decreased interest in performing almost all daily activities
  • Poor appetite or weight loss
  • Overeating or weight gain
  • Suicidal ideation 
  • Slow movement or reactions
  • Feeling guilty or worthless

To increase your chances of getting SSDI or SSI for bipolar, your disability application should include a good deal of evidence that conveys the extent of your disabling symptoms.

Necessary Limitations for the SSA to grant benefits for bipolar

Applicants have a greater chance of receiving benefits if they are unable to work and perform other important everyday life activities. People with severe bipolar may be limited in their ability to:

  • Concentrate on tasks
  • Complete tasks
  • Manage themselves and their needs
  • Perform everyday activities independently such as shopping, paying bills, maintaining good hygiene, etc.

The effects of this disorder can sometimes be seen as in a lifelong trail of  employment problems and personal and financial difficulties. The SSA Blue Book details what the SSA must know in order for them to approve individual benefits.

Contact us online today for assistance

Filing a disability claim and applying for disability can be a complex process, especially for people who are already dealing with health issues and financial distress. 

The overall process of filing a claim and seeking the benefits you need can take months. Seek help from an experienced disability lawyer to expedite the process and reduce your chances of being denied.

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