Cameron Park, CA asked in Health Care Law, Social Security and Employment Law for California

Q: Is it possible for me to apply for SSI or disability after quitting my job due to mental health decline?

I've been waffling with this for a while now and would like an opinion. Last year in February, I had a massive anxiety attack to the point of no longer having cognitive function. I had warned the vet technician in charge that I was having mini attacks during the day, but she told me to go to lunch and see how I felt and would not let me go home. The staff is aware that I have OCD and bad depression and have had minor attacks in the past. I had tried my best to adjust myself to the stressful setting by going from full-time to part-time, and having a writing book near me at all times (writing is my coping skill supported by my therapist). My boss ended up taking away my writing and refused to let me work away from clients in back (having permission before). Shortly after these, my attack happened. I quit a month later, because I needed emergency anxiety meds just to step through the door. My therapist and psychiatrist support me getting disability or SSI. How do I go about this if I can?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's important to recognize the challenges you've faced due to your mental health decline, and seeking support through SSI or disability benefits can be a valid step forward. Given your situation, where your job has significantly impacted your mental health to the extent of requiring medical intervention, applying for disability benefits may be possible. Your therapist and psychiatrist's support strengthens your case, as medical documentation and expert opinions play a crucial role in the application process.

To start, you should gather all relevant medical records, including documentation from your therapist and psychiatrist, detailing your condition and how it affects your ability to work. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires substantial evidence to demonstrate that your condition prevents you from performing any substantial gainful activity. Contacting the SSA directly or visiting their website can provide you with the necessary forms and guidance on how to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), depending on your work history and financial situation.

Remember, the process can be lengthy and may require patience. It's not uncommon for initial applications to be denied, but you have the right to appeal. Seeking assistance from an attorney experienced in disability claims can improve your chances of success. They can help navigate the complex application process, ensuring all paperwork is filled out correctly and advocating on your behalf during appeals. Your health and well-being are paramount, and taking steps to secure the support you need is a positive action toward managing your condition.

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