Social Security Disability is difficult to prove in cases involving mental illness. Compared to other diseases, it is invisible. Therefore, we at D’agostino & Associates work especially hard on Social Security cases for people with mental health diagnoses. As previously stated, it is difficult, but not impossible.
The most important thing to remember about filing a claim is to have as much documentation as possible. Naturally, doctors will need to provide information pertaining to the nature of the illness. In the case of mental illness, documentation provided by a treatment team (therapist, psychiatrist, advocate, case manager, etc.) is a must. Ideally, these documents will provide a thorough history based on chart notes, examinations, and hospital records.
It’s also important to keep tight records on prescribed medications. The Social Security Administration is more likely to rule favorably when there is legitimate proof of treatment. It’s encouraged to remain compliant with any medication prescribed.
The Social Security Administration will decide based on level of disability. A claimant must prove that a condition prohibits the ability to work. Their definition of a disability leaves little room for interpretation. It must interfere with the claimant’s day-to-day functioning with proof supporting this definition.
Additional information commonly provided in a case include statements on behalf of the claimant. These statements usually come from close friends and family  members. However, the most convincing statements come from former employers. If a supervisor can vouch for a claimant’s disability, Social Security places more weight on their testimony over a parent or a spouse. Ideally, have statements of claimant written on company letterhead with a signature.
For more information on how D’agostino & Associates can best serve you, please contact us.