Disability benefits through the Social Security Administration are available for mental health conditions that prevent a person from working and earning a living. The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs offer monthly payments to people with mental health impairments, provided you meet the eligibility guidelines for at least one of the programs.
If you or someone you love has a mental health impairment, it’s essential to know how to qualify for benefits and how much disability pay to expect in 2023. Working with a disability lawyer at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers ensures you receive maximum benefits if you meet the eligibility requirements.
Mental Health Benefits Through SSI And SSDI In 2023
You must have worked long enough and paid Social Security taxes on the income to meet the non-medical requirement to qualify for SSDI. The amount you receive in monthly benefit payments for a mental health disability depends on how long you worked and your average earnings.
The maximum mental health disability pay through SSDI in 2023 is $3,267, and the maximum is based on the maximum annual earnings that are subject to Social Security taxes. The average monthly SSDI mental health disability benefit, according to the Social Security Administration, is $1,483 in 2023. A Liner Legal SSDI lawyer can review your earnings record and show you what to anticipate as an SSDI mental health disability payment.
SSI also provides mental health disability pay, but it does not require a work history, as does SSDI to qualify for benefits. However, SSI eligibility limits the amount of income and resources applicants may have available. For example, the total value of resources or assets available to someone applying for SSI disability pay in 2023 cannot exceed $2,000 for individuals and $3,000 for couples.
The monthly disability pay in 2023 available through SSI for someone with a mental health condition is $914 and $1,371 for a couple. The payments are the maximum federal benefit rate for SSI beneficiaries. The amount that you receive may be less than the federal benefit rate based on the following factors:
- You live in someone’s home or apartment and do not pay rent or contribute less than your fair share for food and shelter.
- You live in your own home or apartment, but someone pays for your mortgage, rent, or food.
- You have countable income or receive money from someone that can be used to pay for food and shelter.
Some exclusions may apply to reduce the effect of income on your monthly SSI mental health disability pay. For example, the first $65 of income you receive during a month from work is excluded along with one-half of the balance of your monthly earnings. Speak to an SSI lawyer at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers to learn more about exclusions that may apply to you.
What Mental Health Conditions Qualify For Disability Pay?
To qualify for mental health disability benefits, you must meet the definition of “disability” used by Social Security when reviewing applications to determine eligibility for disability pay. You must have a severe mental health impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year and prevents you from performing any substantial gainful activity.
Social Security has a list of impairments, commonly called the “Blue Book,” that it considers severe enough to meet the disability definition. Some of the listed mental health conditions include the following:
- Bipolar disorder
- Schizophrenia and other types of psychotic disorders
- Depressive disorders
- Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders
- Trauma- and stressor-related disorders
- Neurodevelopment disorders
- Intellectual disorders
- Personality and impulse-control disorders
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Eating disorder
- Neurocognitive disorders
Each listed mental health condition includes symptoms that must match or be equivalent to those experienced by the person applying for mental health disability pay.
For example, suppose an applicant submits a claim for disability pay based on schizophrenia. In that case, the medical records supporting the application must prove the presence of at least two of the following:
- Delusions or hallucinations
- Disorganized thinking or speech
- Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
- Negative symptoms such as diminished emotional expression or avolition
The application also must show extreme limitation of at least one or marked limitation of at least two of the following mental functions:
- Remembering, understanding, or applying information
- Interacting with other people
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing themselves
If you cannot qualify for SSI or SSDI with a listed mental health impairment, you still may qualify based on a residual functional capacity assessment. The assessment determines how a mental health condition affects your ability to function in a work setting. You are disabled if your residual functional capacity prevents you from doing past relevant work or other work available in the national economy.
An Experienced Disability Lawyer Helping People Get Their Maximum Disability Benefits
The disability professionals at Liner Legal Disability Lawyers have for years been helping people with physical and mental health disabilities obtain the benefits they deserve. Learn more about how a Liner Legal SSD lawyer can help with your claim for mental health disability pay by contacting us today for a free consultation and claim evaluation.