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Is bipolar a qualified mental condition for SSD benefits?

Suffering from a mental illness or condition can be life-altering. Many residents in Florida suffer a wide range of mental conditions, some of them long-term and disabling. When a person is battling bipolar disorder, for example, it often means that he or she will not be able to maintain gainful employment.

In these situations, the SSA has provided two related programs that are often vital to applicants. While SSDI and SSI can help individuals suffering from this mental condition, he or she must first qualify for these government programs.

Is bipolar disorder a qualified mental condition for SSD benefits?.

Section 12 of the list of qualifying impairments discusses the specific mental disorders covered by the SSA. Specifically, section 12.04 addresses bipolar disorder and the impacts this disorder can have. Based on the SSA definition, bipolar disorder is “characterized by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome.” Mood, in this definition, refers to the “prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life,” which generally includes either depression or elation.

In order to meet the eligibility guidelines for this mental disorder, an applicant must meet the requirements in sections A and B or those in section C of this rule. Section A requires medical documents that show continuous or intermittent symptoms of bipolar disorder. Section B states that the disorder must result in two of the following: marked restrictions of activities of daily living, marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning, marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence or pace or repeated episodes of decomposition. Lastly, section C states that there must be a medically documented history of a chronic affective disorder for at least 2 years.

If you are suffering from bipolar disorder or any other mental condition, it is important to understand your options and resources. Qualifying for SSD benefits is often necessary so individuals can meet his or her basic needs.

Source:, “Is Bipolar Disorder a Qualified Condition for Disability?” Kimberly Read and Jonathan A. Abbott, March 10, 2017



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