Los Angeles Mental Disability Lawyer

Six percent of all Americans are afflicted with a serious mental illness, while one in four of us deal with some kind of mental health issue each year. Depression (technically “major depressive disorder”) afflicts millions and is the nation’s most common disabling mental illness.  Across the country, thousands struggle with mental illnesses that may prevent them from holding jobs or from even leaving their homes to eat or to go shopping.

Mental disabilities and afflictions of the mind can cause a person just as much emotional pain and discomfort as physical injuries. Unfortunately, many with mental disabilities are at a disadvantage in that their wounds are not as easily visible as the wounds suffered by those with physical injuries.

Notorious for turning down requests for Social Security Disability (SSD) coverage, even for those with legitimate and serious mental conditions, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires applicants for benefits to show proof that they are indeed suffering from a mental disability. There are a couple of ways that proof can be provided, but the more proof that a person can provide, the higher of a chance that person has of being approved for benefits. Contact Los Angeles mental disability lawyer Tony Adderley for more information.


The SSA offers two types of benefits for disabled workers, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

To qualify for SSDI, you must have paid enough into the system through working. SSI is for low-income people, the blind, and children. There are separate eligibility requirements for each but you have to be disabled to qualify for either, meaning you have some condition that prevents you from earning a certain monthly income as a full-time worker and that must last for at least 12 months. 

The symptoms of mental illness are more difficult to diagnose, and the severity of a mental condition is difficult to measure objectively. Social Security disability claims examiners are not doctors, so they may not always understand the limitations that some mental illnesses impose. For instance, some disability examiners do not recognize the cyclical nature of bipolar disorder and manic depression, so they may assume a patient is cured if he or she does not currently display certain symptoms, even when those symptoms are sure to return.

To evaluate a condition, examiners use Social Security’s official listing of impairments, often called the “blue book.” The listings are the medical conditions that Social Security recognizes as inherently disabling; the examiner will determine if an applicant’s symptoms meet the criteria of any specific mental condition in the listings. The mental impairments listed include: schizophrenia, mental retardation, autistic disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders. The SSA will consider your:

– understanding, memory, and ability to concentrate

– ability to relate and cooperate with co-workers, supervisors, and the public

–ability to adapt to a workplace environment

Evidence and assessments of a mental disorder and the functional limitations it imposes must be offered by an accepted authority such as a licensed psychiatrist or a psychologist. Such evidence could include assessments, the applicant’s prescription history, and notes from therapy sessions. The SSA will also consider statements regarding severe functional limitations from counselors, social workers, colleagues, employers, and other appropriate parties.

Even if your condition is not listed or isn’t as severe as the listing requires, you may qualify for disability benefits. Hang onto very bit of paperwork connected in any way with a mental condition; it’s evidence, and having your paperwork in order is imperative when seeking disability benefits. In any particular case, the most important documents might include, for example, records from hospitalizations, from various treatments, or from lab results. If you have been diagnosed with a mental condition that prevents you from working, and you can demonstrate the condition is likely to last for at least twelve months, you may be still eligible for benefits.

If you are no longer able to work due to any medical condition, whether mental or physical, an experienced Social Security disability attorney may be able to help you win disability benefits. A good disability lawyer will help you with the application forms, medical documents, and interviews and hearings that Social Security requires. No matter whether they have never applied for SSD benefits or if they have already been turned down for coverage by the SSA, a diligent benefits attorney like Tony Adderley can help those suffering from mental disabilities get the SSD coverage that they are entitled to.
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Intellectual disabilities vary, although common characteristics may include exceptionally low IQ test scores, difficulty remembering suitable social behavior, and trouble with problem solving. Typically, people with intellectual disabilities are born with those disabilities. Children with intellectual disabilities may function normally immediately after birth; soon, however, they begin to intellectually develop more slowly than their peers. Additionally, people at any age who suffer a serious brain injury may suddenly display intellectual disability. A brain injury can alter the way a person thinks, remembers, and behaves.

Without regard to an intellectual disability’s source, the fact nevertheless remains: intellectual disability is tough for anyone to deal with, tough for family members to deal with, and it can often leave a person permanently unable to work. To obtain Social Security disability benefits, a person must meet the requirements set forth in the Social Security Administration’s “Blue Book” of disabilities.

Because it’s seldom obvious to the untrained eye, intellectual disability can be difficult to prove to the Social Security Administration. If you or a loved one needs to receive Social Security disability benefits because of intellectual disability, speak at once with an experienced Social Security disability attorney.


Los Angeles Mental Disability LawyerAlong with proof that a condition exists, the SSA will also require proof that the condition is serious enough to prevent or to be expected to prevent the suffering party from working for at least 12 months. Los Angeles mental disability lawyer Tony Adderley and his team of experienced legal professionals can help SSD applicants through the entire benefits application and review process, from gathering required proof to representing the applicant through any necessary appeals. He has several years of experience with helping people from all walks of life, with a variety of medical conditions and disabilities, get the benefits that they deserve.