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I haven’t seen a doctor much for my bipolar disorder because I don’t have insurance. How will this affect my Social Security Disability claim?

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  15 Comments

Get tips on applying for Social Security disability when you have a physical or mental illness, such as a bipolar disorder, and you lack medical records.

bipolar-social-security-disabilityHow Lack of Medical Records Affects Your Disability Claim

It can be difficult to get adequate medical care when you don’t have health insurance. However, it is still possible to be approved for disability benefits, even if you haven’t seen a doctor very often. Whether your have a physical or mental disability, such as a bipolar disorder, the biggest effect that a lack of medical history can have on your claim is proving when you became disabled. If the Social Security Administration doesn’t find enough information in your medical records to make a decision, they will send you to a consultative examination with a physician or psychologist that they select. If the examination and other information in your file support that you are disabled at the time of the exam and you are still insured for disability benefits, then your claim will be approved; but the date of disability used to pay your claim may not be retroactive to the date you believe you became disabled.

Financial Impact of a Later Disability Date

If you were not insured for disability at the time of the consultative examination and lack proof of an earlier date of disability, your claim would be denied. If you were insured at the time of the exam, but lack proof of earlier disability, you would lose back benefits.

Proving When You Became Disabled and How a Disability Lawyer Can Help

There are some things you can do to help your claim. Because you don’t have the more common sources of medical evidence, a Social Security attorney could be helpful in identifying and organizing information to support your claim. For example, if you were having trouble on the job—missing a lot of work or having difficulty with tasks that you previously could do without a problem—you might get a letter from your employer with his or her observations. If your disability is due to a mental illness, your employer might include observations of your becoming frustrated, arguing with other employees, or having difficulty following instructions. The letter should include the approximate time frame in which you were having the problems. For more information about employer statements, see our article “Would It Help My Claim to Get a Statement from My Employer about My Problems at Work?”

Similarly, letters from relatives, friends, and co-workers can also help if they have observed symptoms of your physical disability or if you have a bipolar disorder or other mental illness and they have been around you when you have been emotionally unstable or had functional problems due to your mental condition.

I haven’t seen a doctor much for my bipolar disorder because I don’t have insurance. How will this affect my Social Security Disability claim?
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  • Published: 1 year ago on March 3, 2016
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  • Last Modified: December 1, 2016 @ 9:18 pm
  • Filed Under: Apply for SSD
  • Dear Rod,

    If you stop work and file a claim, your best chances for approval will be based on multiple medical/mental health conditions, possibly none of which alone would be enough for you to qualify. This means that you need to list all your conditions, describe your limitations and symptoms from each and the treatment you are receiving for each. You will also need to explain why you have to stop work now when you have been working with most of these conditions for some time. I suggest that you double-check that each of your medical providers knows that you are being treated for the other conditions and by whom and what the treatment is and that you are applying for disability based on a combination of limiting conditions.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Belinda,

    The judge will consider all your psychiatric conditions. Life events can be related to mental health, so precipitating factors are pertinent. Your age is considered in the disability determination process in that there is a greater expectation, absent evidence to the contrary, that a younger person with health issues can move to new occupations with different physical and/or mental demands.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Leanne,

    The claimant has to be notified of any evidence that a judge gathers after a hearing and be given a chance to respond to it. If you find errors in the information on the CD or you think any of the information needs to be explained, or it prompts you to send in other evidence, be sure to respond by the 16th. You can get a fax number from the hearing office and fax in your response.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • nadia asaf

    Hello,I have a ssdi hearing in august.2016 Every 3minrhs a see a doctor for bipolar.he always writes me a prescription for 3 months sometimes 6 months. Will this look bad in front of a judge me not seeing a doctor every month?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Nadia,

      If your medications are not being changed, the widely spaced doctor’s visits may be an indication that your bi-polar disorder is adequately treated and possibly not disabling.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Robin T

    My husband applied for SSDI , and has a lawyer and this is the stage where we are At, my question is per say he gets approved for SSDI ( My self I get SSI now ) because he can’t work I will be 50 in July sense I’m disabled and going to be 50 can I get money from my spouse SSDI ? I have been disabled scene 1992 and we have been married for 5 years . The other question is I was married before we was married for 12 years he also was disabled he received SSDI as well he now is deceased , even thou I’m remarried can I receive off his record when I turn 50 ? Not to sure sense I’m remarried . Thank you .

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Robin,

      You have to be age sixty-two to receive spouse’s benefits on your current husband’s record. You are not eligible on your first husband’s record because you remarried.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Dear KAY Had my ssdi hearing today for bipolar disorder and panic disorder. VE was on phone but not present. judge never asked the ve a question and only asked me one. did not ask me to explain anything or talk about my condition. i had recent heart issues and a recent lumbar fusion. he said to sign consent forms so he could see the records and he would have my decision as soon as he received the medical records. hearing lasted only 20 minutes. would my recent health issues hurt or help my case. my friend who is an attorney said it is usually a good sign if the ve is not questioned. what do you think.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Bryant,

      I agree with your attorney friend. The recent record will document additional medical conditions and, thus, should improve rather than decrease your chances for an approval.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Debra Sherard

    I applied for disability online do I still need to send it in the mail ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Debra,

      You do not need to send the same documents you filed online by mail. You may be contacted to complete additional forms for your claim and, if so, those would be submitted by mail.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • N Denzmore

    My daughter is 12 and was just diagnosed with bipolar,severe depression and tarettes.I applied about 2 weeks ago and somebody called me from disability stating hey already spoke with her psychiatrist and they just needed to know if she had an appointment with chestnut yet and I said yes for February 11th then she said well thanks you will be hearing from me. Is this a good sign she has been approved. I sent all her medical records from gateway when I submitted application after the released her from being there 5 days due to being suicidal and homicidal.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear N.,

      The information you provided indicates that your daughter’s conditions may be severe. Accordingly, I believe she has a good chance of being approved.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Annie

    My name is Annie, and I am 45 years old. I applied for SSD and was denied twice. I left my job because I was unable to work and perform the job duty, due to high blood pressure, stress, arthritis in the neck with bulging disk, arthritis, bursitis and tendonitis in both shoulders, bulging disk/degenerated disk, w/arthritis in my back, osteoarthritis in my right knee and carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I have been to physical therapy twice and was released and have been to the Spine Care doctors and have just been released from there in January of 2015…..I still go to my regular doctor, but she don’t like helping her patients that are disabled to get on disability. I had a hearing with a Administrative Judge from Birmingham and she has denied me and declared me being able to work due to my working while working @ my last plant job, building Mercedes Benz car and SUV parts….She said that since I was able to work then going thru all the treatments, that I had gone thru, that I was still able to work now…. But I had told her @ the hearing that the above conditions and other conditions as not being able to focus and concentrate, along with not being able to remember things(memory loss) was my reason for leaving….I told her that I be depressed and I’m currently taking depression pills that my doctor prescribed for me every month and that I have nervousness and thoughts of not wanting to live anymore along with other inflammation medications, high blood pressure pills and pain pills and she still feels that since I worked and was taking the medications and shots, that I can still work. She said that because she see’s no different in my situations over the years that she is dening me and my situation have worsened like I told her and that’s why I left my job for all the reasons above and for not being fired, because like I told her if I had stayed @ my job I would’ve ended up being fired….I wanted to no, is all these things with my work history (being that I worked every since I was in high school in the 11th grade) is that not enough for me to be approved on? And if I appealed this on the same information, will she deny me again? I also have a Attorney that has been in the business for 45 years who’s doing my case and appeals and I was just wondering if I need to stay with him or seek another Attorney to appeal my case? Your opinion and help would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance….

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Annie,

      I cannot advise you as to whether to change attorneys when you request an Appeals Council review. I do recommend that you have an attorney, however, because the rules for how to appeal to the Appeals Council are very specific and particular.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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