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Detailed criteria for disability benefits due to mental illness

Oklahomans who are suffering from mental illness have a rough road in dealing with their everyday struggles. Their issues can make it difficult to function in any setting be it personal or professional. A lifeline that is frequently beneficial if they meet the criteria for qualifying mental conditions is to file for Social Security disability benefits. For people who are seeking SSD benefits for mental conditions, there are four different areas of mental functioning to remember when the determination is made as to whether they qualify: understanding, remembering or applying information; interacting with others; concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace; and adapting or managing oneself.

Understanding, remembering or applying information refers to having the ability to learn, remember and utilize information to complete work activities. That can mean grasping and learning terms, procedures and instructions; asking and replying to questions; fixing mistakes; solving problems; following sequential requirements and more. Interacting with others refers to having the ability to follow instructions from supervisors, dealing with co-workers and customers, being cooperative, facing conflict, giving one's own opinion and assessment, accepting criticism and suggestions and avoiding being sensitive irascible, suspicious or argumentative.

Concentrating, persisting and pacing means being able to maintain focus on a work activity and continue at a consistent rate. That can include finishing an assignment in a timely fashion, avoiding distractions, altering activities without disrupting others, being in contact with others and working with them effectively, attending work regularly and on time, not requiring extra rest or breaks than is normal for the workplace and adhering to routine. Adapting and managing oneself refers to regulation of emotions, controlling one's behavior and maintaining well-being at work. That includes adaptation to changes, following protocol, having realistic goals, being able to plan, having an acceptable hygiene practice and dressing appropriately.

The criteria can be confusing, particularly for someone who is already having mental issues. Those who believe they or a family member is suffering from mental illness that is of sufficient severity to get approved for benefits should make sure they understand the process and requirements. Speaking to a lawyer who is experienced in helping clients receive Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions is essential to pursuing benefits and is the first call that the person or a family member should make.

Source: ssa.gov, "DI 34001.032 Mental Disorders -- E. What are the paragraph B criteria?," accessed on Oct. 31, 2017

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The Law Center for Social
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