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I’ve Been Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder. Can I Get Disability Benefits?

Bipolar disorder is a lifelong illness that typically appears in your late teenage years or early 20’s. There are several types of bipolar disorder. The first type being Bipolar type 1. This condition involves periods of severe mood episodes from mania to depression. Mania is a period of elevated mood and energy. Depression is a period where you feel very low, experiencing symptoms of sadness and social withdrawal. Bipolar type 2 is a milder form of mania with periods of severe depression. Rapid cycling is a term that describes an individual who has four or more mood episodes within a 12 month period.

Both types of bipolar disorder can be treated with medications. However, a good indication that you should be applying for disability benefits is if your medications do not control your moods. Meaning, even with medications, you continue to suffer from cycles of mania and depression.

Bipolar disorder may affect your ability to maintain a regular schedule or even maintain focus during a regular work day. Most employers require their staff to be at work on a regular and continuous basis. Meaning, showing up to work every day and while at work staying focused so as to complete their job. If you find yourself calling out of work more than 3 times per month or even while at work you find yourself unable to concentrate half the day you should advise your doctor of your difficulties. If medications aren’t fixing the problem then you should seek the advice of an experienced social security disability attorney as to whether your condition is severe enough to qualify for the program.

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