Handling an SSDI or SSI Case for Bi-Polar Disorder
I know from representing claimants in Bipolar SSD cases that with these cases there are a few things that
make a disability claim for Bipolar Disorder difficult. If you have any questions e-mail me
. Those with the condition can experience great highs and lows in there mood. This can be a problem because often
times when the individual is in a "high" state they can be quite productive and even overly confident. When
a person is in this state they may have a surface appearance of being able to work on a full time basis. Those making
the determination at SSA may mistake this "high" behavior and find the individual capable of work. Some difficulties
many SSDI lawyers have with handling bipolar cases can include noncompliance with medication, substance abuse, difficult
interaction with claimant due to manic episodes, and often times can be younger individuals. Even though there are challenges
for a lawyer representing a claimant with bipolar disorder it can be much more difficult for a person with bipolar disorder
to represent themselves in a Social Security disability case due to the symptoms of disorder. Another problem in
these cases is that people with this condition often have very sporadic work records. This can cause work quarter
issues for eligibility. I also find that individuals suffering from this condition tend to work sporadically as
the case is going on leading SSA to believe they can work. Another potential problem is many people when in a manic
episode will deny they have a problem. It is also common for those with this condition to abuse drugs or alcohol and
Social Security may determine that this is the problem and deny SSDI or SSI benefits.
There are many possible symptoms
from Bipolar Disorder that can affect ones ability to work. In a manic episode the individual may experience over confidence,
racing thoughts, increased energy, irritability, sleeplessness, inability to concentrate, denial of condition, drug abuse,
bad judgement, euphoria, or aggressive behavior. In a depressive episode symptoms may include hopelessness, suicide
thoughts, sleep difficulties, helplessness, guilt, difficulty with memory, difficulty with concentration, irritability, physical
symptoms of pain, overly sad, weight gain or loss, and decreased energy. The treatment for the condition is usually
medication and therapy. There are different degrees of this illness and many people under proper treatment can function
quit well while others even under proper treatment may have a difficult time even doing day to day things.
Symptoms of Bipolar disorder
As mentioned earlier bipolar disorder has periods of highs and lows. The highs are called mania or manic episodes. The
lows are cold depressive episodes. Symptoms of mania include being easily distracted, fast talking, racing thoughts, and ability
to stay on subject, restlessness, trouble sleeping, overconfidence, high risk behaviors, and impulsive decisions. Symptoms
of depressive episodes include loss of interest in prior activities, isolation, excessive worrying, fatigue, difficulty concentrating
and remembering and thoughts of suicide.
Some statistics about bipolar disorder. In the United States, 2.2% of the adult
population have severe bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder frequently shows up in the late teens to early 20s. Those suffering
from bipolar disorder life expectancy is 25 years less than the rest of the population.