When you live with bipolar disorder in Michigan, you understand how disabling the condition can be. A previous blog discussed the disability benefits you might be eligible for if you have a mental illness. This week’s blog will focus on filing to receive those benefits.

When you file your claim, you usually need to show that you have had your condition for at least two years. According to Social Security Disability SSI Resource Center, you need to be able to demonstrate that your condition keeps you from working and is chronic. You may also receive benefits if you require a specific living situation. Additionally, your disorder typically must fall under the Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability. This means that it keeps you from making enough money to be considered gainfully employed or prevents you from working entirely.

When you apply for SSD benefits, you usually need to demonstrate your episodic periods so the SSA understands the severity of your condition. If you suffer depressive syndrome, you typically need to show that you have fatigue and problems concentrating. You might show that you have a documented history of being easily distracted or overactive if you have manic syndrome.

You can qualify for SSD benefits even if your bipolar disorder does not meet all of the SSA’s requirements. The kinds of work you can do, your job history and your education are all taken into account when a disability examiner determines your eligibility.

This information is general in nature and should not be used in place of legal advice.