How to Get Social Security Disability for Mental Illness and Mental Disorders in Richmond, Virginia


Mental illness impacts all of us. More than 50 million adults and over 5 million children in the United States live with a mental disorder at some time in their lives. This means that chances are good that someone you know – a parent, a friend, a loved one, a son, a daughter, a neighbor, a coworker – has experienced mental illness.


Some mental disorders are debilitating and can keep you from working. In fact, mental illness costs the world trillions of dollars each year in lost productivity. And an incalculable amount in lost lives, pain, and suffering.


Dealing with a severe mental disorder is difficult. Cognitive impairments, mood disorders, depression, and other mental illnesses make activities that other people take for granted – reading, working, interacting with others – impossible. Finding the energy to get out of bed may even be difficult.


If a mental disorder is affecting your functional capability and causing fatigue, sadness, sleep disturbance, anger, irritability, and difficulty focusing, then you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.


Contact Richmond disability attorney Corey Pollard today for help applying for SSD benefits. If you’ve already applied, but have been denied, we’ll help you file your Social Security disability appeal and represent you throughout the SSD application process. We can help you at every stage of the process.


All you have to do is email us or call 804-251-1620. We represent disabled adults in Richmond, Chesterfield, Hanover, Dinwiddie, Newport News, Hampton, Fredericksburg, Williamsburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. And we know how to get Social Security disability for your medical conditions.


Mental Disorders that May Qualify for Social Security Disability


Winning Social Security disability claims based on mental illness and psychiatric conditions is tough. And it’s getting even tougher in today’s political climate. Though politics should not matter when it comes to your mental health, the percentage of disability claims the SSA approves is decreasing. In our opinion that is because of political pressure.


SSD claims based on mental disorders are vulnerable, since they often involve subjective evidence and not objective testing like MRIs and CT scans. That’s why it is important that you hire a Social Security disability lawyer for your mental illness claim.


Some of the most common mental illnesses alleged in Social Security disability claims are:



No matter your mental illness, we can help you develop your claim for Social Security disability benefits if your symptoms interfere with your ability to work and enjoy life.


Evaluating Mental Disorder Claims under Social Security Disability


When determining if you have a mental illness, Social Security will review the following evidence to evaluate your mental disorder:


  • Evidence from your medical sources, including your physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, physician assistant, licensed clinical social worker, and clinical mental health counselors, that includes: your symptoms; your medical, psychiatric, and psychological history over the past 15 years; the results of your mental status exams, clinical interviews, psychiatric or psychological rating scales, and measures of adaptive functioning; psychological testing; neurological imaging results; laboratory findings; your diagnosis; the type, dosage, and effects of prescription medications you take; the type, frequency, duration, and effects of therapy; side effects of your medication, including drowsiness; and, information about your sensory or motor abnormalities, if any.


  • Evidence from you and people you know (neighbors, family, social workers, friends, etc) regarding your symptoms, daily functioning, and medical treatment.


  • Evidence from past employers, schools you attended, and any vocational training you attempted to complete that provides proof that your symptoms impact your ability to stay on task or interact with others. For example, a history of special education or an IEP plan can help prove that you’re entitled to Social Security disability benefits.


Typically it is easy to prove that a mental impairment is severe if you have treated for it consistently. Just because it is considered “severe,” however, doesn’t mean you win your disability claim. It simply means that Social Security will evaluate that condition within its rules and disability framework.


Next, Social Security will evaluate how your mental impairment affects your ability to function in the following four areas:


Social Security will find you disabled if at least two of the above categories are rated as “marked,” or if any one of the above categories is rated as “extreme.” You have a marked limitation if your ability to function in the specific area independently, appropriately, effectively, and on a long-term basis is seriously limited. You have an extreme limitation if you are unable to function independently on a sustained basis at all.


As your Richmond disability lawyer for mental disorders, we can help you build your claim based on mental disorders to give you the best chance to get approved for SSDI benefits or SSI.


Establishing Limitations from Your Mental Disorder So That You’re Approved for SSD


Richmond Social Security disability lawyer Corey Pollard relies on a variety of evidence to prove that his clients should receive disability payments. Family, friends, counselors, and therapists are great sources of information and testimony that can help your mental impairment case. It is usually much easier for others to observe the difficulties your mental disorder causes you than for you to judge these yourself.


Many times Social Security will deny a claimant because it does not believe his or her statements about their daily functioning, ability to socialize with others, and ability to complete tasks promptly. This is why it is important to have a skilled disability attorney who is familiar with the judge hearing your case and who knows the type of testimony likely to help you win.


Testimony is not the only evidence helpful to disability claims based on mental illnesses like schizophrenia, paranoia, depression, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or anxiety. If you have had frequent hospitalizations over the past two years due to your symptoms or have required a supportive living environment, that evidence may help you win your claim.


Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys for Mental Illness Claims


If you’re not sure whether your mental disorder qualifies for Social Security disability, our Virginia SSD lawyers can help. We have assisted thousands of clients with mental illness claims for Social Security Disability benefits and can provide the compassionate representation you deserve. If you suffer from a mental disorder that is likely to cause you to be unable to work on a sustained basis, you may be entitled to government benefits. And we can help you get the income and medical care you need to try to recover.


Make sure you follow your health care provider’s recommendations. And call us for help getting approved for SSD benefits for mental illness. We have a track record of success in disability claims based on mental illness. And we want to help you.


Call Corey Pollard at 804-251-1620. There is no fee unless you get approved.