Steady Your Situation with Help from Our Tri-Cities Lawyers

If the mood swings are sharp enough, the highs and lows intense enough, bipolar disorder can interfere with your ability to focus and stay on a job—and support yourself.

Social Security Disability benefits could provide a financial lifeline, and a baseline for you to build greater stability.

But people don’t understand mental health conditions like bipolar. You may wonder if it’s even possible to get disability benefits in your situation.

Social Security says bipolar disorder is covered. In fact, of the workers who already receive monthly financial assistance from Social Security Disability, a quarter of them have mental health disorders such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and others.

And millions of people in the United States live with bipolar disorder—2.8 percent of all adults according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

Of course, many people are able to manage their condition and continue working. The difference when you’re applying for Social Security Disability is that you must prove you can’t work any significant amount.

How do you prove this? One of the easiest ways is to work with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney who knows what to do.

Bothwell & Hamill has Tri-Cities disability lawyers who have helped thousands of people throughout Central Washington, including in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, Yakima, Sunnyside, Spokane, Ellensburg, Wenatchee and Walla Walla.

If bipolar disorder has disrupted your life, get in touch with us.

Call Us Today! »
A man frustrated with his therapist.

Symptoms You Must Document to Qualify for Disability Benefits for Bipolar Disorder

Every claim for Social Security Disability benefits requires you to show that your medical or mental health conditions make it impossible for you to work.

In the case of bipolar disorder, Social Security lays out the symptoms it will look at to decide if you qualify for disability benefits.

First, you need to document that you experience at least three of these conditions:

  • Aggravated movement
  • Agitated, fast speech
  • Rapid switching to different ideas
  • Easy distraction
  • Reduced sleep
  • Sudden surges in self-esteem
  • Goal-oriented behavior to an extreme
  • Doing risky things with little regard for consequences

Then you need to show that you have limitations with one or more of these functions:

  • Thinking through and using information
  • Relating to others
  • Staying focused on an activity
  • Managing your own emotions and behavior

Another dimension to your Social Security Disability claim for bipolar is demonstrating to Social Security that you have at least a two-year history of the disorder.

And you’ll need to confirm that during those two years you’ve undergone treatment, therapy and other medical care for your mental health—and that you struggle with changes in your life or new demands placed on you.

Social Security Disability lawyers who deal with the system every day can help you determine if you have a strong case for benefits, and what it will take to win approval.

Instead of wondering about it and guessing, talk to the Bothwell & Hamill disability lawyers in Yakima, Kennewick and Sunnyside for a no-cost conversation on how you can move forward from here.

Get My Free Evaluation! »
A man biting his nails nervously.

How Do You Prove to Social Security that You Have Job-Limiting Bipolar Disorder?

It’s one thing to say that you suffer from the problems listed above. Social Security requires you to prove it.

You do that by submitting medical evidence that your health care providers generate when you go in for treatment.

Social Security lists the kinds of evidence it looks for:

  • Documents showing your official diagnosis
  • Details of your mental health history written by your doctor
  • Reports from physical and mental exams
  • Psychological testing results
  • Specifics about the medications you take
  • Explanations of the side effects of your prescriptions
  • Descriptions of the therapy you undergo
  • A history of changes in the course of your treatment
  • Observations from health care professionals about how you respond to treatment
  • Reports on any speech, movement, or sensory differences you have
  • How long your providers expect your condition to last

And then there is less scientific evidence you can, and possibly should, submit.

That includes statements from people who know you personally about how your bipolar disorder affects your life and information from schools, training programs and jobs about how you functioned there.

We know this is starting to sound like an overwhelming list of facts to gather.

This is what disability lawyers are for. We take on much of the work, to take the load off you.

If your life has gotten chaotic thanks to bipolar disorder, disability benefits can give you a better foundation for finding a sense of peace.

In Washington, talk to Bothwell & Hamill.

Contact Us Now. »

More Questions?

You might have a lot of questions. Bothwell & Hamill has answers.

Common Questions »
Yakima man who won Social Security Disability benefits with the help of Tom Bothwell.

Mr. Bothwell and his staff were not only knowledgeable and to the point, but took the time to answer all of my questions and kept in touch with me during the entire process.”


Contact Form Phone
Skip to content