Is bipolar disorder eligible for disability?

If you are having difficulty maintaining employment due to bipolar disorder, it is important to understand your rights. Bipolar disorder is a qualifying condition for disability, but this does not mean that all people with bipolar disorder will automatically receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or disability benefits. Explore who is eligible and how to make the most of the services provided to you.

Your rights under ADA

Many people with bipolar disorder are able to keep their jobs. Bipolar disorder is one of many diseases covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The law aims to protect persons with disabilities from discrimination in recruitment, job assignment, promotion, salary, dismissal, benefits, layoffs and all other employment-related activities.

ADA only applies to companies with 15 or more employees.

People with bipolar disorder may need to consider this when looking for a job or considering changing jobs.

Your spouse is also protected by the ADA. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that “the bill also provides for discrimination against applicants or employees based on an individual’s family, business, social or other relationship or connection with a person with a disability, regardless of disability.” For example, if your husband has bipolar disorder, you will be protected if he needs urgent hospital treatment, so you must leave the job without warning. ADA is managed by EEOC.

Other employees may not understand the rights of people with bipolar disorder under the ADA. People often think that disability is just physical damage. Everyone should understand how the law applies so that they know why adjustments may be needed.

Define “disability”

In this case, “disability” has nothing to do with social security disability. Rather than saying that you cannot work, it is better to say that you have rights and protections at work, and at the same time you can handle work duties with reasonable convenience.

If it is determined that the disability causes “serious restriction” of the damage to the person’s ability to handle “main life activities”, the employer is obliged to comply with the ADA rules in the way that the affected person is treated. This means providing one or more “reasonable accommodations” to disabled employees.

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In this case, disability refers to your rights and protection at work, as long as you can handle your job duties with reasonable convenience.

The main life activities that are restricted or impaired can be activities that occur at work or outside of work.The decisive factor is that it affects certain aspects of your on-the-job activities, which are not necessarily Do this job. You must still be able to perform your job duties.

An example given by EEOC is that a person’s medication causes dry mouth. Therefore, he needs to drink something about once an hour, but his employer’s policy is that people cannot drink at the desk and can only have two 15-minute breaks a day. It is reasonable to allow the person to drink a drink at his desk once an hour.

Common exceptions

The workplace can refuse to provide convenience for one of two reasons:

  1. Employers can prove that providing convenience will bring unnecessary difficulties to the company, such as excessive cost, wide-ranging, substantive or destructive convenience, or will fundamentally change the nature or operation of the company. You can consider the size of the company, financial resources, and other factors.
  2. The employee is deemed to pose a direct threat to the health and safety of himself or others.

If accommodation is rejected or employment is terminated for one of these reasons, or if you believe you have been discriminated against because of your situation, you can file a claim with EEOC within 180 days of the rejection/violation.

You can do this online, or you can apply to the EEOC office closest to you. The employer must respond to the claim and defend the failure to provide convenience or why the employee poses a danger to the job.

social Security

Bipolar disorder interferes with individual functions, making it difficult to find or maintain a job. As of December 2017, 34.6% of recipients were judged to be disabled based on their mental health status.

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The Social Security Administration has a very detailed list of disability, which can prove that an individual is eligible to be disabled. Section 12 specifically addresses mental disorders; Section 12.04 deals with mood disorders (also called affective disorders), such as bipolar disorder.

The above document points out that affective disorder is “…characterized by mood disorder, accompanied by complete or partial mania or depression syndrome. Emotion refers to a lasting emotion that adds color to the entire spiritual life; it It usually involves depression or elation.”

If you have a mental disorder, you are eligible for benefits if you meet the following conditions:

  • Requirements outlined in Sections A and B or
  • Everything in Part C

Eligibility criteria

People with mental disorders are eligible for benefits when they meet the requirements outlined in Part A and Part B or Those in section C (see below).

A. The continuity of one of the following medical records, whether continuous or intermittent:

  1. Depressive syndrome with at least four of the following characteristics:
    1. Anhedonia Or generally lose interest in almost all activities
    2. Loss of appetite due to weight changes
    3. sleep disorder
    4. Psychomotor agitation or retardation
    5. Energy reduction
    6. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
    7. Difficulty concentrating or thinking
    8. Suicidal thoughts
    9. Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking
  2. Manic syndrome is characterized by at least three of the following:
    1. ADHD
    2. Pressure to speak
    3. Flying of thought
    4. Inflated self-esteem
    5. Reduced need for sleep
    6. easily distracted
    7. Participate in unrecognized activities that are likely to cause painful consequences
    8. Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking
  3. Bipolar disorder with a history of episodes manifests itself as a complete picture of the symptoms of mania and depression syndromes (currently characterized by one or two syndromes).

B. Lead to at least two of the following:

  • Obviously limited activities of daily living
  • Obvious difficulties in maintaining social function
  • There are obvious difficulties in maintaining focus, persistence, or rhythm
  • Periods of recurring decompensation, each with a prolonged duration

C. At least 2 years of medical history of chronic affective disorder, resulting in the ability to perform basic work activities more than a minimum limit, symptoms or signs are currently alleviated by medication or psychosocial support, and have one of the following:

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  • Periods of recurring decompensation, each with a prolonged duration
  • A residual disease process that leads to this marginal adjustment, even the smallest increase in psychological needs or environmental changes will lead to individual decompensation
  • The current history of being unable to work normally for 1 or more years outside of a highly supportive living arrangement indicates a continuing need for such arrangements.

As you can see, social security has many special rules that apply to mental health issues. If you decide to hire a lawyer, be sure to discuss these rules with him/her.

Social security does not always provide disability benefits to people with serious mental health problems. In many cases, the initial application was rejected.

For this reason, people with mental health problems and their supporters (knowledgeable psychiatrists, therapists, and lawyers) need to carefully prepare and document their cases and persevere. If needed, ask for help when applying-your doctor or support group may recommend useful resources.

Request accommodation

You can only get accommodation if you request it. Your employer is not legally obliged to initiate or provide a procedure. When inquiring, you do not have to disclose your condition.

For example, you don’t have to say “I am applying for vacation or accommodation because I have bipolar disorder.” According to EEOC, you can say: “Because I take antidepressants, it is difficult for me to go to work on time.” Such statements make your employer legally obligated to start considering your request.

If needed, your family members, members of your medical team, or other representatives can apply for accommodation for you. In either case-whether you or someone else makes a request-you may be required to provide proof and medical documents, so please contact your medical team to be prepared. If you encounter any problems, they can also help you find resources.