SSDI for mental disorders and reevaluations

Many Portland residents qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to a mental illness or psychological disorder. There are many types of mental disorders that can qualify a Portland resident for benefits including depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and schizophrenia.

It is important to remember that SSDI benefits are only available to individuals who are currently impaired by a mental disorder to a degree that prevents them from working. SSDI benefits may not be available to individuals who are functional because they have a mental disorder that is being treated by medication or therapy.

There are many cases in which benefits are taken away from individuals who recover from their formerly disabling mental disorders after the Social Security Administration reevaluates their case. One such case was recently decided by a federal court of appeals.

The case involved a man who was diagnosed with a series of mental impairments in 2002. These impairments included major depressive disorder, ADD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a learning disorder among other things. Additionally a consultative examining psychologist also determined that the man had a “Global Assessment of Functioning” score of 43 which indicated that he suffered from a “serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning.”

Based on the man’s low GAF score, he qualified for disability benefits for a disability onset date in December of 2001. The man’s benefits were then reevaluated in 2007 and the Social Security Administration found him no longer disabled and took away his benefits. In our next post we will discuss the reevaluation process and why the man’s benefits were taken away.

Source: United States Court of Appeals, “Blevins v. Astrue,” Dec. 9, 2011

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