Mental health conditions can sometimes prevent people from being able to hold a steady job, especially when the condition is chronic and doesn’t respond to treatments. If this is your situation, you may want to file for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
SSD is a program that’s available for those who have paid into the Social Security program through taxes on their wages. It’s important to understand, however, that short-term conditions, like seasonal depression, do not qualify. You must either have been disabled or expect to be disabled for at least a year due to your condition.
Here are a few other things that you should know:
It’s a long application process
The process of obtaining SSD benefits isn’t quick. Your application will have to work through a process. Many applications are denied initially, so you may have to go through an appeals process. There’s a chance that your spouse and minor children might also qualify for benefits once you’re approved.
Medicare eligibility is not immediate
Once you’ve been entitled to SSD benefits for 24 months, you’ll qualify for Medicare. This can help you to cover medical care costs once you’re covered. Prior to that time, you may qualify for Medicaid or another type of health insurance to help meet your needs.
Anyone who’s fighting for disability based on a mental health condition may find that they need assistance getting through the process. Notifications from the Social Security Administration come with strict deadlines. Be sure to read these thoroughly so you know what you need to do if you need to appeal a denial.