Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) may be one of the least understood benefits available for American citizens. People don’t understand what it takes to qualify for benefits, and they don’t readily understand the different kinds of benefits available, which can make things difficult for those who find themselves in need of this critical social safety net.

SSDI is a benefit most people associate with disabilities that prevent someone from working. Conditions ranging from total blindness to progressive and fatal conditions like multiple sclerosis may qualify someone for SSDI benefits. Can someone with a serious mental health diagnosis also qualify for SSDI?

The Social Security Administration will review mental health applications

It is possible for people with debilitating mental health conditions ranging from schizophrenia and so-called psychotic disorders to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to potentially qualify for SSDI. The Social Security Administration recognizes a number of mental health conditions, including somatic disorders, eating disorders and intellectual disorders as potentially disabling conditions that can qualify someone for SSDI benefits.

As with any application for benefits, it is necessary for the person applying to show that their condition is truly debilitating and prevents them from working or caring for themselves. Meeting this burden of proof can sometimes be difficult for those with mental health conditions and may require the support of both professionals and family members for success.

However, with documentation, ranging from records of involuntary hospitalization to reports by multiple psychiatric professionals attesting to the impact of the condition on the person’s life, it may be possible for those with severe mental health issues to secure SSDI benefits.