When someone can’t work because of a disability, they may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The US Social Security Administration (SSA) offers disabled individuals financial assistance to cover the cost of basic living needs.
Some mistakenly assume they must have a physical condition to qualify for benefits. This isn’t necessarily the case. You might also qualify for benefits if you have a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder.
Be aware that the SSA may not immediately approve your application for benefits. The following guide will help you better understand what steps you may take if the SSA denies your application at first.
Filing An Appeal For Disability Benefits With Bipolar
Virtually any claimant may appeal the SSA’s decision when the SSA denies their application for benefits. Additionally, a representative, such as an attorney, can file an appeal on a claimant’s behalf.
The appeal process typically involves the following steps:
- Reconsideration, in which someone who did not participate in the initial review of a claim reviews it with fresh eyes
- A hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) if the reconsideration doesn’t result in an approval
- Review by an Appeals Council if the ALJ doesn’t rule in your favor
- A Federal Court Review if you still haven’t received an approval
You can initiate the appeal process by:
- Calling the SSA
- Visiting an SSA office
- Filing an appeal online
Don’t delay if you wish to file an appeal. You have 60 days from learning of the SSA’s decision to take action. You will likely receive an automatic rejection if you attempt to file an appeal past the deadline.
How To File a Successful Appeal For Disability Benefits With Bipolar
Ways to improve your chances of receiving an approval when you file an appeal for disability benefits include:
- Coordinating with your doctors to gather additional medical evidence
- Supplying a Mental Residual Functional Capacity (MRFC) assessment, which involves a doctor confirming that your mental condition prevents you from engaging in work
- Continuing to following treatment plans
Enlisting the help of professionals is another way to potentially strengthen your appeal. For example, although no attorney can guarantee a specific outcome, you may boost your chances of receiving an approval if you hire a disability lawyer to help with the appeal.
Why Was My Bipolar Claim Denied?
Every case is unique. There are various potential reasons the SSA may have denied your claim. Examples include (but aren’t necessarily limited to) the following:
- You failed to provide sufficient medical documentation
- You haven’t been following a doctor’s advice regarding treatment
- Even if you can’t work, it appears you have sufficient financial resources to address your own needs
Get Help With Your Appeal
The process of appealing the SSA’s initial denial of benefits if you have bipolar disorder can be somewhat complex. Luckily, this isn’t a process you have to navigate on your own.
Strongly consider discussing your case with a disability benefits lawyer. Their expertise could play a critical role in the outcome of your appeal. For more information, take the Free Case Evaluation to get connected and speak with a disability lawyer accepting cases in your area who can help you today—all at zero cost to you.