Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder marked by alternating phases of mania and depression.  It is a recognized mental impairment under Social Security disability law. Its hallmark characteristics include exaggerated and extreme mood swing s, which is why it is also known as "manic-depressive disorder."

While in the throes of a manic phase, an individual may exhibit symptoms like:

  • an abundance of energy
  • racing thoughts
  • insomnia
  • a proclivity for reckless conduct

While in the doldrums of a depressive episode, an individual may experience symptoms like:

  • feelings of being tired, sad, or worthless
  • hypersomnia (excessive sleeping)
  • difficulty thinking clearly
  • suicidal ideation

Bipolar disorder is a serious impairment that may qualify you for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits. Persons suffering from bipolar disorder often require medicines known as mood stabilizers, but even when treated with the proper medication,  bipolar disorder can still be unpredictable. Patients whose bipolar disorder is treated may still continue to experience the highs of mania and the lows of depression to some degree

When presenting evidence to support your claim for Social Security disability benefits, the Kocian Law Group works hand in hand with your psychiatrist, therapists, and other medical experts to build a strong case for providing the benefits you need.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates the severity of each patient’s bipolar disorder to determine if the condition qualifies the person for disability benefits. Generally speaking, two of the following three criteria must apply.

In order for a person to qualify for benefits, the person’s bipolar disorder must cause:

  • Marked limitations in day-to-day activities
  • Marked limitations in social settings and/or
  • Marked limitations in matters of concentration and maintaining pace.

In addition, the patient must have medical records that document ongoing and persistent symptoms of at least one of the following conditions:

  1. Depressive Syndrome characterized by at least four of the following nine behaviors:
    • a complete loss of interest in virtually all activities,
    • significant appetite changes resulting in weight gain or loss,
    • excessive sleep patterns,
    • diminished energy,
    • feelings of worthlessness or guilt,
    • deficits in thought/cognitive processes or concentration,
    • delusional thoughts,
    • suicidal ideation
  2. Manic Syndrome characterized by at least three of the following eight behaviors:
    • intense hyperactivity,
    • rapid speech patterns,
    • racing wild thoughts,
    • overinflated self-importance,
    • diminished need for sleep,
    • inability or lack of concentration,
    • reckless or risky conduct,
    • delusional thoughts

The Kocian Law Group will assist you in preparing your disability case.  When you consult with the Kocian Law Group:

  • We review your medical records to obtain confirmation of the recognized symptoms that characterize the manic and depressive syndromes of bipolar disorder;
  • We communicate regularly with your treatment providers and obtain medical statements from them regarding the severity of the limitations you face due to bipolar disorder; and
  • We make ourselves accessible to you, at your convenience, by telephone, in person or via the internet for an in-depth review of the merits of your case.