how to get disability for bipolar

How To Get Disability for Bipolar

Bipolar disorder is considered as a disability by the ADA and the Social Security Administration or SSA. This means that those who suffer from bipolar disorder can get financial disabilities that can help them with their struggles.

How To Get Disability for Bipolar

However, in order to receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must first meet certain requirements. It also helps to know and understand the entire process on how to get disability for bipolar disorder.

The Two Main Disability Programs for Bipolar

First, know that there are two main disability programs you can apply for. These are the Social Security Disability Insurance or SSDI, and then there’s the Supplemental Security Income or SSI.


The SSDI is for those who have paid Social Security taxes from their previous jobs. It focuses on helping disabled workers.

Upon applying for an SSDI, you will be asked for your job history. This will help the Social Security Administration understand if you have worked enough to qualify for their insurance benefits.


On the other hand, there’s the SSI which is the program for the elderly and disabled individuals. Upon applying for an SSI, they will ask you to demonstrate that you fit the SSA’s strict financial limits.

Children can also qualify for SSI benefits. Though to do so their parents must meet the SSA’s strict financial limits.

Similarities Between the Programs

Those are the two main differences between SSDI and SSI. Both these Social Security Disability benefits also have some similar requirements. This includes your medical eligibility. Both programs will need to determine if you meet their set of requirements listed under bipolar disorder.  

How To Apply

To apply for either SSDI or SSI, you must present medical records and other helpful information about your case. Records of therapy, hospitalizations, statements from your doctors, and your official diagnosis will help a lot.

You can apply in person by meeting someone from the SSA. Or you can also fill out forms online. Keep in mind that for children, the application must be done in person.

After your application, the SSA will conduct their own evaluation using the information you have provided. With this information, they will make their decision.

Most of the time, the waiting period is at least a month or longer. Initially, a lot of applicants are rejected. If that happens to you, you have 60 days to submit an appeal of the decision.

More on Bipolar Disorder

This article is part of our guide to bipolar disorder treatments, symptoms, causes and more.

Check out the next topic in our guide, how to control bipolar anger without medication.

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