Filing for social security assistance is widely known as a difficult process. However, when filing a social security claim for a mental illness, the level of difficulty can skyrocket. The primary reason for this is the guidelines, or lack thereof that pertain to mental impairments. Unlike most physical conditions, the social security administration doesn't have a set of preset medical requirements that will guarantee an individual's right to assistance. Instead, cases are evaluated in a series of other areas.

Daily Living

One of the first things considered is the individual's quality of life as it pertains to daily living. Are you able to cook, clean, keep up with your hygiene and simply perform necessary, day-to-day activities? It doesn't matter if you're dealing with depression or schizophrenia, how well you are able to take care of yourself is one of the first parts of your claim that the social security office will consider.

Generally, only those individuals who have marked areas of difficulty as it pertains to daily living will have their cases progress forward. However, as always, there's often a catch. How independent an individual was before their mental impairment was diagnosed will have some effect on the claims process as it pertains to their payment. For example, a child with a mental illness who is cared for by their parents will typically be eligible for a lower payment than an adult living on their own.  

Social and Work Environments

Another area of consideration is the applicant's ability to navigate smoothly in social and work environments. For example, is your condition exacerbated by the stress associated from being around a lot of people or dealing with stress in the workplace? A yes to this question might indicate that working and earning a living might be a challenge for you, increasing your need for financial assistance.

This particular factor is generally examined based on the condition and the effect that any prescribed medications have on your ability to participate in social and work environments. For example, if you have marked areas of difficulty, but are taking medications that are designed to help you better function in these types of situations, your claim could be denied. Typically, only those applicants who have difficulty in this area and aren't undergoing any treatment will see their claims progress.

When it comes to simplifying your application for social security assistance, an attorney will be your most valuable tool. A social security attorney will access your case before filing to ensure a faster and more successful outcome.