Can You Get Disability Benefits for Mental Issues?

Living with a mental illness can be challenging, and it can also make it difficult to work on a regular basis. Employees in Michigan who suffer from long-term and persistent mental issues may be able to receive social security disability benefits if they meet certain criteria.

According to the Mental Health Association Oklahoma, there are many types of mental disorders that the social security administration acknowledges as qualifying for disability benefits. Some of these include:

  • Eating disorders
  • Affective and personality disorders
  • Mental illnesses that have a physical cause
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia and psychotic disorders

Workers must be able to show evidence of their disorder. Types of proof include a thorough medical history, brain imaging results, physical and psychological evaluations, personality and intelligence tests, documented causes and triggers, treatments and their effects, symptoms and the expected outlook both short and long-term. 

If able to prove mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness outlines two disability programs employees may be eligible for. Social Security Income (SSI) is available for low-income adults who are unable to work on a sustained or regular basis. In order to be eligible, not only does the worker need to be low income, but he or she must also not have assets in excess of $2,000.

Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is another option. To qualify, the mental illness must prevent the employee from working for at least 12 months. The amount received on a monthly basis cannot equal more than what the worker has paid into FICA taxes. Depending on the situation, one may receive both SSI and SSDI at the same time.