If someone has a physical disability, it’s often evident to the world. But many people have disabilities that are much less apparent. People suffering with unseen illness can feel affects equally as crippling as those whose disabilities are physical.

Just like it provides help for people with physical disabilities, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also gives benefits to those with mental and emotional conditions. Many people with mental health issues are eligible to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

What is SSDI?

SSDI is a government program funded by the Social Security Trust Fund. When you see “Social Security” deducted from your paycheck, this is a program that it covers. SSDI provides monthly benefits to people with a disability that keeps them from working and earning a stable income. Only people previously employed and who paid into Social Security can receive SSDI.

You must meet the following criteria to be eligible for SSDI:

  • Your disability must prevent you from doing the work you once did
  • Your disability prevents you from doing other types of work
  • Your disability will last at least a year or result in your death

What mental-health conditions does SSDI cover?

For a mental-health condition to qualify for SSDI, it must meet the criteria listed above. Qualifying for SSDI for mental health issues may be more difficult than qualifying for physical disabilities since many of the people who make coverage determinations do not have mental-illness training.

Many mental illnesses are eligible for coverage, as determined by the SSDI’s master list of conditions. The following are just a few of the mental-health conditions mentioned:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Drug addiction
  • Autism
  • Learning disorders

Seeking help

Sometimes the SSDI application process is difficult. Almost two-thirds of initial SSDI claims result in denial. If your SSDI claim is denied or you want to seek help completing the application, you may wish to seek the aid of a qualified attorney experienced in dealing with the SSA.