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Is Bipolar Disorder A Disability - Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Income?

Many people would consider Bipolar disorder to be a disability simply because it affects much aspect of the person’s life. While it is not impossible for many people with bipolar disorder to lead productive lives, some are struggling very hard as the disorder can affect their work performance to a big extent. If you are one of those with bipolar disorder and finding it hard to lead a normal working life due to your condition, you might just qualify for Social Security Disability Income by the United States government.

Depending on the seriousness of your illness, listed below are five of the things to look out for to determine if you are eligible for Social Security Disability Income.

The first condition the Social Security Administration (SSA) looks at is if an individual is currently working. According to the SSA definition, if one is “engaging in substantial gainful activity” and earning more than 0 a month, that condition is enough to disqualify that person from receiving any disability benefits.

Secondly, the SSA looks at the seriousness of the impairment that bipolar disorder has caused. The disorder must be serious and severe enough considerably to affect one’s ability to perform basic work and activities needed to do in most jobs to get paid. According to the SSA definition – the condition must limit the person’s ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, see, hear, speak, understand simple instructions, use good judgment, interact appropriately with coworkers and supervisors, and deal with changes in a routine work setting.

Thirdly, to see if bipolar disorder meets the criteria of a medical listing under mental disorders, a list of symptoms are used. The symptoms are anhedonia (inability to experience pleasure), appetite or sleep disturbances, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, thoughts of suicide or hallucinations, difficulty concentrating or thinking, psychomotor agitation, and delusions or paranoid thinking.

Some also consider if the bipolar disorder causes restrictions of activities of daily living, impairs social functioning, causes deficiencies of concentration, affects persistence or pace, and the existence of repeated episodes of decompensation, or inability to maintain normal or appropriate psychological defenses, of an extended period of time.

Fourthly, SSA will look into the ability of an individual to perform work if any in the past despite having dipolar disability. If SSA believes that a person can do his past work without much stress and difficulties, benefits are denied.

Lastly, the SSA uses vocational rules to determined what other work if any, a person can perform. There are different vocational rules for different age groups to follow. For example, anyone under the age 50 and, as a result of the symptoms of bipolar disorder, unable to perform what Social Security Administration calls sedentary work, then they will reach a determination of disabled. Sedentary work requires the ability to lift a maximum of 10 pounds at a time, sit six hours, and occasionally walk and stand two hours per eight-hour day.

Most people think that it is a shame to be going on disability and it is disgraceful to be named as disabled. But, if someone honestly put in the effort to try working and failed, Disability is there to take care of them. This is what disability is designed for. Only dishonored, able bodied people who try to claim Disability are a true shame.

About the author: Moses Wright is the webmaster of He provides more helpful information on Bipolar Disorder on his web site.


Frequently Asked Questions

    how can i get help to get a handicapped wheelchair van with a disability income?
    I have a disease call sarcoidosis which has been with me for twenty years now I'm confined to a wheelchair and I need transportation.

    • ANSWER:
      You have to find a way to purchase a vehicle out of your own pocket as Medicare and SSDI do not cover transportation.

      You have other options such as taking the bus, having a friend drive you, or getting in touch with a local service providing transportation to the elderly and the disabled in wheelchairs. You can usually find that last service through your local city transportation office. They will pick you up and drop you off for errands, but you often have to wait awhile.

    Is there any specific help for college tuition a person on disability (not blind or wheelchair bound) can get?
    A friend of mine would like to get a college degree (and thereby get out of the disability cycle) but this person has NO MONEY. They don't want to do financial aid or anything that they have to pay back. Any advice? THANKS!

    • ANSWER:
      umm...tough situation. ask around at the university/college he or she wants to attend. you dont have to pay back money if you receive financial aid because it is free money. however, if he or she takes out a loan or grant then they have to pay back later. file the FAFSA (i know high school graduates can but check the website--google it--and see if they give it to older people also [i think they do]). but other than that, im not sure...ask around at universities and online...just make sure ur buddy doesnt pay for any financial aid from online because its probably fake. ok...not much, but hope it helps. hope your friend makes it through college...make sure u keep them persuaded to pursue this dream!

    What percentage of wheelchair-bound people are faking a disability?
    I suspect it's higher than you think.

    • ANSWER:
      Well, though this seems more like an "I gotcha!" kind of question, as you seem to already have an answer, I would argue that only a slim minority (less than 5%) are faking. It just seems that there are better ways to fake disability than dealing with the inconvenience of being in a wheelchair.

    What type of disability would a child start using a wheelchair at 9 month?
    As children Develop at individual paste
    My niece is 15 months and staring to stand holding on.

    • ANSWER:
      a child with a broken neck-that would need to be fully physcially supported and properly positioned-possibly attached to a ventalator--and would not be able to use a typicla stoller

      i work with children that start using a wheelchair around age 3-when they start getting too big for a standard stroller-and need a wheelchair that can be used to transport them on a school bus

      as far as your niece-generlaly a child of 10 months will stand with support--by 12 months a child shoul dbe able to free satnd (without holding on) brieflly (a few seonds)

      She may qualify for early intervention services if she cannot stand on aided at all.

    Disability Wheelchair Work Question...?
    So say a man applies for a job with a fortune 500 company. He's then told he won't be considered for the job because he is bound to a wheelchair. They alleged that they did not have wheelchair access and did not want to spend the money necessary to install them.

    Is this a state or federal case? Which statutes are involved?
    I know it goes with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), but I'm having trouble finding statutes and finding the answer to this question. It's for my college Law class, any help is very appreciated.

    Ok thanks for your answers. I know this is an imaginary case, but it was given to me for class and I need to be able to come up with some kind of statutes to go against this case, and also I need to be able to specify whether it would be heard in the State or Federal courts...

    • ANSWER:
      That's illegal. This violates both federal and state laws.

    Do you know anyone who has a physically disability that requires them to be in a wheelchair?
    that works as a Computer Support Technician/ Service Technician? Did they have a fairly easy time finding a job?

    • ANSWER:
      Sure, me. Well sort of, I'm actually a programmer but I do also service computers.
      As for difficulties I'm the founder so no. Several of my employees are also in chairs, and the fact that they are doesn't matter. It's not the ability to stand is necessary.

    Could someone in a wheelchair or with some kind of disability survive as an MP or even be one?
    How would they show their opinion if they could not stand up? I have never seen an MP in a wheelchair!
    And when I say 'stand up' I mean in the House Of Commons!
    MP = Member of Parliment

    • ANSWER:
      This is not about an MP but about a member of the German Bundestag, however, I strongly believe that a politician in a wheelchair could have the same chances in your country. I'm talking about the German Minister Wolfgang Schäuble who was shot at 3 times in 1990, severely injuring his spinal cord and face. Schäuble has been paralysed and confined to a wheelchair ever since, but that hasn't stopped him at all. I don't share his political views, but any man overcoming such odds deserves some recognition for doing his job.

    At what age would a child with a disability move from a pram to a wheelchair?

    • ANSWER:
      As soon as they are capable of moving a wheelchair independently. Some kids are using them at 9 months, but it is more common for a child's first chair to be between 2 and 4.

    Would you date someone with a disability and is wheelchair bound?

    • ANSWER:
      Yes I would if there was chemistry and we share common interests :)

    What disability(s) matches these symptoms: easily contracts colds and needs a wheelchair once in a while.?

    • ANSWER:
      could be anything. No one can tell you with just those two problems.

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