Is Borderline Personality Disorder A Disability?
Personality disorders are a type of mental health condition characterized by unhealthy patterns of thinking, functioning, and behaving. This causes significant problems and limitations in relationships, social activities, work, and school. These types of symptoms also make it difficult to deal with everyday issues and maintain gainful employment.
There are several different types of borderline personality disorders. Below are a few of the more common types:
Antisocial Personality Disorder is a destructive disorder that deals with a person’s regard for what is right and wrong. A person with this disorder is more likely to lie and manipulate others and typically has a history of repeatedly breaking the law. Someone diagnosed with this personality disorder may become aggressive when challenged.
Histrionic Personality Disorder involves a person’s negative self-image. People suffering from these disorders often face frequent mood swings. They may also engage in impulsive and risky behaviors to gain the attention or approval of those around them.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is somewhat opposite of a histrionic disorder. This disorder is characterized by a pattern of need for validation and a lack of empathy for others. People diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder may have an inflated sense of self-importance and entitlement.
Dependent Personality Disorder is a disorder characterized by severe anxiety and a sense of immaturity of the person with the disorder. Those suffering from this disorder often feel misunderstood and dismissed as clingy or naïve to a fault. They often suffer from fear of abandonment that can be sometimes debilitating for the person, and they tend to be highly sensitive to criticism.
Symptoms Faced by BPD Patients
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers borderline personality disorder under the criteria of mental health disorders. To receive approval for benefits based on a borderline personality disorder disability, you must have evidence of symptoms that show how the condition is affecting your daily life.
These conditions are often characterized by emotional instability and drastic changes in behavior. Some individuals suffering from borderline personality disorders experience significant difficulty in regulating their emotions.
Borderline personality disorders can include a variety of symptoms. The medical record must show a record of these symptoms to be eligible for disability benefits. Symptoms associated with borderline personality disorders include:
- Frequent mood swings
- Sudden change in interest
- Sudden change in values
- Instability in relationships
- Experiencing instability in emotions and unable to control them
- Fearing being abandoned
- Intense anger
- Experiencing everything in extremes, either feeling too good or too bad
- Episodes of anxiety
- Episodes of depression
Applicants suffering from a disabling borderline personality disorder often experience other mental health conditions at the same time.
In many cases, symptoms will overlap with other mental disorders, including depression, bipolar disorders, anxiety, or eating disorders.
Can You Get Disability Benefits for Borderline Personality Disorder?
You can receive disability benefits if you meet the eligibility requirements outlined by SSA regulations for either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). With either program, you must have medical evidence showing that you have a bipolar personality disorder with symptoms that limit your ability to maintain employment.
You Can Get Disability Benefits Through These Two Ways:
The SSA Listing of Medical Impairments – If you have been diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder, you will need to meet the medical criteria published in the Blue Book. The Blue Book is the SSA’s listing of medical impairments. You may be eligible for disability benefits if you meet the criteria in the Blue Book.
Unable to work – The second way to receive approval for disability benefits is by demonstrating your inability to work. You must have records of your disability caused by the medical condition. The Social Security Administration will assess your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) to evaluate what tasks you can continue to perform in spite of your condition. They will look at different factors such as age, education, job experience, and work history as part of the evaluation.
Medical Evidence Required for Bipolar Personality Disorder Disability
Medical records and employment records play a crucial role in getting approval for SSA disability benefits. Regardless of the disability you are applying for, you must have sufficient medical evidence to prove that your condition hinders your ability to work. For a mental health condition like borderline personality disorder, this will include a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist.
Here Are the Medical Evidence and Records That Are Recommended to Have Before Commencing a Disability Application:
- Psychological testing.
- The mental status examination report.
- Neuropsychological testing.
- Personality measures testing.
It is helpful to gather these documents before commencing the application to ensure your application is as complete as possible. You can get in touch with a lawyer to determine all the essential records and medical evidence required for a successful application.
Determining SSDI Eligibility
The Social Security Administration reviews eligibility for personality disorders with strict adherence to the criteria. Anyone with a borderline personality disorder must have medical documentation to support their Social Security disability benefits application.
It can be a complicated process. The time it takes to receive a decision can vary but proper documentation can help move your application forward faster. We also highly recommend applicants hire an experienced Social Security attorney to help with the application.
Many people think that these disorders can be managed easily but this is merely a myth. Some patients with borderline personality disorders find it difficult to maintain healthy relationships and steady employment; however, it is difficult to establish entitlement to Social Security Disability benefits for personality disorders, especially if there is insufficient medical documentation to demonstrate the extent of the disability. It is best to be fully informed about disability law, eligibility criteria, and the evidence you need to support your claim before submitting an application.