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

Disability For Bipolar Disorder (Manic Depression)

What is bipolar disorder?

This disorder is associated with mood swings. Patients suffer rapid mood swings episodes, like depressive lows to manic highs. Also known as Manic Depression. The exact cause of this disease is not yet known however, it effects a substantial percentage of the world’s population. Experts say that a combination of the environment where we live, genetics, and altered brain structure or chemistry, can be responsible.


  • Symptoms of Manic episodes are- High energy level, reduced tendency to sleep, and loss of interest to live.
  • Symptoms of Depressive episodes- Low energy, loss of interest in daily tasks, and low motivation.
  • The worst symptom is suicidal thoughts
  • These mood episodes can vary from person to person, and last from days to months.

Is Bipolar A Disability?

Yes, it is. To improve your chances of having your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) claim approved, you should show a record of professional treatment for your condition. That is even more critical when the condition is bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. Unfortunately, the very nature of this disorder can prevent people from seeking out the help they need.
Disability for Bipolar Disorder
Depression and hypomania are common in people with bipolar disorder II. Individuals with this form of bipolar disorder may become eligible for Bipolar Disability Benefits.

Social Security statistics show that almost two-thirds of SSD benefits applicants for major clinical depression or bipolar disorder end up getting approved for benefits.

The Two Sides of Manic Depression

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. While in this period of euphoria and extreme optimism, they do not see any need for treatment. This can cause problems for their disability claim.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For Bipolar Disorder?

Yes, you can! But for this, you must show enough evidence to prove your suffering because of bipolar disorder. Beginning with the initial diagnosis to the symptoms and treatment through to the presents, you will need to all your medical documentation. The SSA will approve the Bipolar Disability claim only when you have all supporting records to show your inability to work or function well.

Documents needed-

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

It is always better to know about listings in the Blue Book for bipolar sufferers. Knowing these important things will help to act faster during times of need. Therefore, if you have been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder, then make sure you keep all guidelines in mind. This will help you in getting disability for bipolar disorder without complication.

How to Get Disability for Bipolar?

First, you need to file a disability claim for bipolar disorder. The online application process is a convenient process as you have the option to apply online with no need to step outside of your home. Many details are required to complete your application and the information must be accurate. The SSA will reject incomplete applications as well as ones with errors.

So, it is better to gather enough details about application requirements, documents needed, and the approval process, before filling your application. The SSA will ask for a list of your symptoms, medications, and treatments you have tried or are currently trying.

To seek benefits based on depression, you have to mention at least five of the following bipolar disorder symptoms;

  • Consistent depressed mood
  • Oversleeping, or insomnia
  • Decreased interest in performing almost all activities
  • Poor appetite, resulting in a weaker body.
  • The consistent tendency to over-eat, resulting in being overweight.
  • Suicidal tendency, or thoughts of death.
  • Slowness of physical reactions, or movement.
  • Feeling guilty or worthless

For Social Security Disability Bipolar Disorder benefits, or SSI For Bipolar, you should have at least three of the following symptoms:

  • Frenzied, or extremely fast (not natural) speech
  • Rapidly changing thought patterns
  • Decreased, or lost self-esteem
  • Living with false beliefs
  • Increased physical agitation
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Risking your life through certain tasks without realizing the potential consequences
  • Distractibility

Show Limitations if you want SSA to grant benefits for bipolar disorder-

There a greater chance of receiving benefits if you are limited to performing certain tasks and are unable to perform important work in everyday life.

If you are limited in your ability to:

  • Concentrate on tasks
  • Complete tasks
  • Manage yourself and your needs
  • Perform everyday activities by yourself such as shopping, paying bills, maintaining good hygiene, etc.

Bipolar disorder (manic depression) can often go unrecognized or can be misdiagnosed for years. The effects of this disorder can often be seen in a lifelong trail of broken relationships, employment problems, and impetuous decisions that result in personal and financial difficulties. Getting disability benefits for Bipolar disorder can be a great relief.


Client Review



About the author 

david chermol

Mr. Chermol is a Founding and Lead Partner at the disability law firm of Chermol & Fishman, LLC. He represents Social Security disability and SSI claimants across the United States both at the administrative level and in federal court

From 1997 until 2007, Mr. Chermol was as an Assistant Regional Counsel for the Social Security Administration’s Office of the General Counsel in Philadelphia.

Contact Chermol & Fishman, LLC
For a Free Evaluation

    What is 8 x 5 ?