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Q: I live in Lancaster and suffer with severe bipolar disorder. What steps can I take to increase my chances of obtaining Social Security Disability benefits?

Bipolar disorder is a serious brain disorder that affects nearly six million adults in the United States. The disease is characterized by debilitating mood swings—alternating between mania and depression. While many people can be successfully treated with medication and therapy, others suffer with the illness to the point that they are unable to work.

Although bipolar disorder is a serious illness that qualifies for Social Security Disability, those suffering from the disorder are often denied benefits after the initial application. Following are some tips for mounting a successful Lancaster Social Security Disability case:

  • Enlist a trusted friend or relative to help you apply for Social Security Disability if your bipolar disorder symptoms prevent you from doing so on your own. Be sure to obtain copies of records related to doctor appointments (including notes from the treating physician) and hospital visits.
  • Enlist the support of your treating physician. Ask your doctor to fill out a mental residual functional capacity (RFC) form that shows how your mood disorder affects your ability to work and documents all of your manic and depressive episodes.
  • Document your personal history with the disease including when it started, how it has changed over time, and how it affects your life. Try to include as much detail as possible about your depressive and manic episodes and focus on how it affects daily living and your ability to work.
  • Stay in treatment—continue to take your medication and go to scheduled doctor visits.
  • Hire a qualified Lancaster Social Security Disability attorney. This is especially important for someone suffering a manic episode. Individuals in this state can appear to be confident, productive, and able to work. Decision makers at the Social Security Administration may misunderstand this behavior and find the individual able to work—and deny benefits.

Bipolar disorder can be crippling and seriously affect your ability to hold down a job. Unfortunately, Social Security Disability benefits are often denied for those suffering with bipolar disorder because there are no obvious physical symptoms. If you have been denied benefits for bipolar disorder, a compassionate and skilled Lancaster Social Security Disability lawyer at Schmidt Kramer can help.

Our compassionate attorneys focus on Social Security Disability law and know how to put together a winning appeal. Give us a call today at (717) 888-8888 for your free case evaluation. We are on your side!