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08/02/2013 09:49 AM

How bipolar do you have to be to get ssi?

Orangebloom
OrangebloomPosts: 65
Member

I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 a few months ago. I didn't belive in it and did not take medication. I was able to work until a few months later. I cracked under the pressure and had an episode. I then had to drop my classes and leave my job because I was just falling apart. A Month later I ended up in the hospital.

I haven't worked since then but I was told that I could apply for ssi during this tough time in my life and that my diagnosis would allow me to do so. I did not even know what Ssi was but it sounded helpful and I agreed to make an appointment. As it turns out it is to claim disability and I am not sure that I would be considered disabled. I don't know what to do. I feel more stable on the medication but I am not ready to work yet. I would also like to go back to school and finish my degree. The idea of working and going to school sounds like a really bad idea to me.

Does anyone know how I can get some income while I am not working anymore? Since I was the one who left my job I cannot collect unemployment.

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08/02/2013 10:10 AM
LisaW64
LisaW64  
Posts: 541
Member

SSI is supplimental security income through social security. If you want disability, you may want to apply for SSDI. That is Social Security Disability. Depending on your state, you may get it right after your application, or you may have to appeal the first decision.

I applied for SSDI, and had my hearing in June. Still no word on the decision. I had a judge that understands bi-polar.

There is a great forum here for social security disability.

Good luck, and know there are others in the same boat as you.

Smile


08/02/2013 12:14 PM
Orangebloom
OrangebloomPosts: 65
Member

Thank you for replying. I jus found out that my situation would not fall under getting benefits. I feel ridiculous for asking! There is just a lot of info and new lingo being passed around me and I jus don't know what to think.

08/02/2013 12:48 PM
Bangbang
Bangbang  
Posts: 7441
Group Leader

When I got to sick to work a social worker applied for SSI and I got it right away. I hear that it can be hard to get. I was also fired from my job fr not returning to work when my medical expired. I sued for my pension and got it. I have been lucky. I got a medical retirement.

08/02/2013 03:35 PM
Cthebird
Cthebird  
Posts: 5961
Group Leader

I think it varies according to your history, current episode(s), and proven inability to work or function normally in society.

I think people have gotten disability for less than my situation, but in my case I depressed, recently had ECT, prior to that had 10 psychiatric hospitalizations in a 4.5 year period. Attempted to go back to my job part-time 4 times and had doctor's notes writing me out again. When I filled out the activities of daily living questionnaire I basically couldn't do many chores at all, didn't take care of myself (shower), needed my husband to keep my meds in a safe, didn't socialize, and had cognitive impairment. It's a good thing I got disability the first time around because my mood started to go even more erratic after I won disability as attempts to get me out of depression sometimes led to spurts of psychotic mania.

Nowadays I'm stable. I've been working with my therapist at incorporating new CBT coping skills into my repertoire. I will need those in order to take first steps to getting a part-time job --and then hopefully a full-time job later. After my almost 9 years of mostly on again disability I have been working to get myself on a schedule and keep appointments such as going to the gym 5 times per week, and doing various homework assignments for therapy that must be done daily. It's still difficult for me. I suppose if you ignore all of the history I mentioned before this paragraph that the challenges I need to succeed at are enough, in my opinion, to warrant disability.


08/02/2013 06:05 PM
sarahtroy
sarahtroy  
Posts: 14662
Group Leader
I'm an Advocate

Orangebloom, Don't feel ridiculous for asking. It's a situation many members find themselves in and a good question.

Have you explored short-term state disability? In my state, if you qualify, you can get it for up to a year.

If you ever have have any more questions about SSDI, you might want to check out our Social Security Disability Advice Group: http://www.mdjunction.com/social-security-disability-advice


08/02/2013 06:47 PM
purplepink
 
Posts: 2287
Senior Member

I am curious about SSI as well. What I've heard is that you have to apply more than once to get it. I seem to be able to perform at work inspite of my many problems in fact they don't even know I have any. I'm good at faking it. Like today I had terrible flight or fight at work but kept my game face firmly in place. I wish SSI could support my bills I would definitely apply. Until then I'm stuck working.

08/02/2013 07:05 PM
brokensmile3
brokensmile3  
Posts: 470
Member

When I applied for ssi I read and was told it was extremely hard to get, most are denied, etc. I was automatically enrolled in a ssdi application as well. I was approved for both on the first try, exactly 6 months to day I applied. Personally I think I was approved because the doctors labeled me “a news story waiting to happen." They didn't want me anywhere near people. I've also seen people who i deemed way worse than me denied flat out. Social security is truly unpredictable. I wish you the best.

08/02/2013 07:22 PM
masmith0912
 
Posts: 2
New Member

I have also thought about going for SSDI since most days at work I'm in a chronic state of anxiety around people and constantly feel people can read my bipolar I disorder right on my face. I get paranoid around people about it quite often and feel judged just by looks and glances and feel my life would be less stressful if I could stay home more. I've considered short-term disability until I could get SSDI. I could only hope I'd be as lucky as some of you to get it on the first try. I'm going to give my psychiatrist a few months of working with my meds before I re-evaluate my ability to keep my job unless it gets much worse sooner than that. Does that sound lazy?

08/02/2013 07:41 PM
Yrollam
YrollamPosts: 2491
Senior Member

I think for to get disability you either have to have been disabled for a year or are expected to be disabled/unable to do substantial gainful activity for at least a year by your doctors.
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