Is Mental Illness Considered a Permanent Disability in Arkansas?

A permanent disability persists over a long period, and such disabilities might be eligible for disability benefits in Arkansas. It is often unclear whether a mental illness or disorder is considered a permanent disability.

According to the Social Security Administration, which governs how Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are distributed, various mental disorders may be considered permanent disabilities. If your mental disorder interferes with your ability to earn an income and is not expected to resolve or cease, it may be considered a permanent disability. The SSA lists numerous mental illnesses and disorders as disabilities eligible for benefits. Applying for benefits involves providing evidence and documentation of a diagnosis and how your condition interferes with your life.

If you or someone you love cannot earn a living because of a mental illness or disorder, our Arkansas disability attorneys can help you apply for benefits. For a free case evaluation, call our offices at (479) 316-0438.

Can a Mental Illness Be a Permanent Disability in Arkansas?

When discussing the topic of disabilities and filing for disability benefits, people tend to assume that only physical injuries and disabilities are covered. In reality, mental illnesses may also be considered permanent disabilities. If you have a mental illness or disorder that prevents you from working, our Bentonville disability attorneys can help you file for SSDI or explore other legal options.

Mental illnesses are analyzed similarly to physical injuries for purposes of applying for disability benefits. First, your condition must meet certain clinical standards set by the SSA. These standards may differ for different conditions, and you should speak with a lawyer about your condition before you begin the application process. Second, your mental illness must be persistent and prevent you from earning an income through substantial gainful activity.

One of the biggest hurdles we must overcome is proving your condition is permanent. SSDI benefits do not apply to short-term or temporary disabilities, and Arkansas does not grant disability benefits for short-term conditions. According to the SSA, your disability should be expected to persist for at least a year. For many people, mental health conditions are life-long issues, and they should be eligible for disability benefits.

Mental Illnesses That Are Considered Permanent Disabilities in Arkansas

The SSA has created an extensive list of conditions eligible for SSDI benefits. The list is broken into sections based on types of disabilities and impairment. Section 12 of the SSA’s listings of impairments pertains to various mental disorders.

Section 12 is broken down further into subcategories of more specific mental conditions and disorders. These subcategories do not necessarily list specific diagnoses but general conditions which might apply to numerous mental disorders. Our Farmington disability attorneys can review your case and determine if your mental illness fits into one of the following categories:

  • Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders
  • Depressive, Bipolar, and Related Disorders
  • Intellectual Disorder
  • Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
  • Personality and Impulse-Control Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders

If your specific mental illness or disorder is not mentioned here, that does not mean you are ineligible for disability. As long as your mental illness is permanent and limits your daily functioning, our Arkansas disability attorneys can help you apply for benefits.

Applying for Disability for a Mental Illness in Arkansas

While the SSA sets the criteria for SSDI eligibility, the Arkansas Disability Determination for Social Security Administration (DDSSA) is the group that reviews your disability. The DDSSA has an agreement with the SSA to determine eligibility, although the SSA is the one that ultimately issues benefit payments.

Various factors are considered when applying for disability benefits because of a mental illness or disorder. First and foremost, the condition must be permanent. As we discussed earlier, many mental illnesses are permanent conditions, and people often deal with mental illness for their entire lives. Our Johnson disability lawyers can help you prove your condition is permanent and that you are eligible for disability.

The DDSSA and the SSA will also consider your employment status. If you are currently able to work in some capacity, you might have to prove that your work does not constitute substantial gainful activity.

The severity of your condition will also be examined. The more severe your mental illness is, and the more it hinders your functioning and ability to work, the more likely your application will be granted, and you will receive benefit payments.

How to Prove Your Mental Illness Qualifies as a Permanent Disability in Arkansas

If your mental illness meets the criteria of a permanent disability, you must have evidence, proof, and documentation to back up your claims. You should consult with our Rogers disability attorneys before filling out an application and attaching evidence, as there might be specific kinds of evidence you need. It is also important to fill out the application in a way that is compelling and convinces the reviewer that you should be granted disability benefits.

Documentation of your mental illness is critical to your application for disability benefits. Documentation can help us establish the existence of a medical condition and how long it has persisted. For example, suppose you have been dealing with your mental illness for many years. In that case, documentation from previous doctor visits, medication prescriptions, and psychiatric notes can help us prove how long you have been dealing with your issues. This also helps us prove that your mental illness is a permanent disability and can be expected to last more than 1 year.

We will also need evidence showing how your mental illness interferes with your ability to function and hold a job. It is not enough to prove your condition is permanent. You must also prove that it is a disability and prevents you from working and performing ordinary daily functions. You must describe in detail how your mental illness limits you in your application. Our Arkansas disability attorneys can help you fill out the application in a way that clearly describes your disability and explains how it prevents you from earning an income.

Call Our Arkansas Disability Attorneys for Help

If you live with a mental illness or disorder that prevents you from earning a living, our Springdale disability attorneys can help you prove your mental illness is a permanent disability. Call our offices at (479) 316-0438 for a free case review.