Does a mental illness qualify for disability benefits?

If you are suffering from a mental illness in Kentucky, it probably has had an adverse impact on how you live your everyday life. Sometimes, your condition can be so severe that you are just not able to continue working. Worried about finances, you may be wondering whether or not you may qualify for some kind of assistance from Social Security. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), there are two different kinds of programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provide benefits to those who have the inability to work due to severe mental health conditions. This is vital due to the current prevalence of such illnesses. Each year, 43.8 million Americans suffer from syndromes such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, dissociative disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder or psychosis, and many are helped by support from the SSA. 

The first program is Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, or SSDI. You may qualify for this program if you have worked and paid into Social Security for five or more out of the past ten years and your current condition prevents you from working for at least twelve months. Benefits vary depending upon how much you previously paid into the system. 

The second program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), mandates that you have a disability that keeps you from working for a regular, continuous period. It also requires that you have very low assets. However, you should know that there are exclusions for your primary residence and a few other items. 

This information is here for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice. 




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