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The type of disability benefits available for mental illness

Individuals with qualifying medical conditions may be able to secure disability benefits if they are unable to work. The right to apply for these benefits also extends to individuals who have a diagnosed mental illness that precludes them from holding a steady job. Securing support for a mental condition can be a complex process, and Michigan applicants would be wise to secure legal support from as early as possible in the process.

Eligibility for SSDI benefits

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides monthly support for individuals who are unable to work or limited in their ability to work. The Social Security Administration retains the right to decide if a person qualifies for benefits and only grants them to applicants who meet the following requirements:

  • Must have a work history of jobs covered by Social Security
  • Must have a qualifying disability expected to last for a period of at least one year

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 35 percent of people who qualify for SSDI are eligible because of a mental illness. Securing these benefits on the basis of a mental condition can be quite complicated, and an applicant would be wise to include as much documentation, such as medical history and other validating documents from a doctor, in his or her application.

Eligibility for SSI benefits

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offers financial support for individuals who do not have a qualifying work history and are not eligible for SSDI benefits. In order to receive SSI benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be disabled
  • Must be able to prove the existence of financial need

When determining if a person is eligible for SSI benefits, the Social Security Administration will consider both current income and assets. The applicant must make less than $733 per month. Additionally, parents who care for a disabled child have the right to seek SSI benefits for the care and provision of that child.

Denied claims and your options

It is actually quite normal for a first-time applicant to receive a denial of his or her initial application. The Social Security Disability benefits system is notoriously complex and difficult to navigate independently, but a denied claim is not the end of the road for you. Through requested reconsiderations and appeals, you have the right to continue fighting for the support you need and peace of mind you deserve.

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