Mental Disorders

Clients Success Stories:
Disability Benefits for Mental Disorders

Plus additional resources on getting disability benefits for Mental Disorders


Depressive disorders that may qualify you for disability include, but are not limited to, bipolar disorders, cyclothymic disorder, major depressive disorder, and dysthymia.

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Bipolar is one of many mental disorders that can be incredibly disabling. If medications, therapies and treatments are not helping you enough to work, you may qualify for disability benefits.

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Autism is a very complex disorder on a very broad spectrum and is characterized by a vast range of conditions. Children and adults can qualify for disability benefits.

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Anxiety is the intense, excessive and persistent worrying about everyday situations. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, disability benefits can be awarded.

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Diagnosed with a Disability but Denied Disability Benefits

Wendy knew she was disabled but was denied disability benefits. She could barely get out of bed and the thought of trying to file for disability benefits again, or make an appeal, made her even more exhausted. She knew she needed help and decided to call on Balin Law. Read Wendy’s story.

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What Social Security lists for Mental Disorders

Mental Disorders that may qualify for disability benefits are evaluated under Section 12.00 of Social Security’s Listing of Impairments – Adult Listings.

Per Social Security, there are 11 separate categories used for evaluating and approving disability benefits for Mental Disorders.

  1. Neurocognitive disorders (12.02)

There is noteworthy overlap between Sections 11.00 for Neurological Disorders and the Neurocognitive Disorders in Section 12.02 under Mental Disorders. If cognitive impairments resulting from neurological disorders don’t meet the requirements in Section 11.00 for Neurological Disorders (mainly the “marked limitation in physical functioning”), they may be awarded disability benefits under Section 12.02 for Mental Disorders.

      • Major neurocognitive disorder
      • Dementia of the Alzheimer type
      • Vascular dementia
      • Dementia due to a medical condition such as a metabolic disease (for example, late-onset Tay-Sachs disease)
      • Human immunodeficiency virus infection
      • Vascular malformation
      • Progressive brain tumor
      • Neurological disease (for example, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinsonian syndrome, Huntington disease)
      • Traumatic brain injury
      • Substance-induced cognitive disorder associated with drugs of abuse, medications, or toxins
  1. Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders (12.03)
    • schizophrenia
    • schizoaffective disorder
    • delusional disorder
    • psychotic disorder due to another medical condition
  2. Depressive, bipolar and related disorders (12.04)
    • bipolar disorders (I or II)
    • cyclothymic disorder
    • major depressive disorder
    • persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia)
    • bipolar or depressive disorder due to another medical condition
  3. Intellectual disorder (12.05)
    • intellectual disability
    • intellectual developmental disorder
    • historically used terms such as “mental retardation.”
  4. Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders (12.06)
    • social anxiety disorder
    • panic disorder
    • generalized anxiety disorder
    • agoraphobia
    • obsessive-compulsive disorder
  5. Somatic symptom and related disorders (12.07)
    • somatic symptom disorder
    • illness anxiety disorder
    • conversion disorder
  6. Personality and impulse-control disorders (12.08)
    • paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, borderline, avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive personality disorders
    • intermittent explosive disorder
  7. Autism spectrum disorder (12.10)
    • autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying intellectual impairment
    • autism spectrum disorder with or without accompanying language impairment
  8. Neurodevelopmental disorders (12.11)
    • specific learning disorder
    • borderline intellectual functioning
    • tic disorders (such as Tourette syndrome)
  9. Eating disorders (12.13)
    1. anorexia nervosa
    2. bulimia nervosa
    3. binge-eating disorder
    4. avoidant/restrictive food disorder
  10. Trauma- and stressor-related disorders (12.15)
    1. PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder)
    2. other specified trauma- and stressor-related disorders

Each section has its own unique set of requirements based on the disorder. They evaluate wide range of issues that may inhibit your ability to work, including side effects of medications, ability to maintain personal hygiene, and frequency and duration of therapy sessions.