Personality Disorders


Personality disorders relate to a group of mental disorders that interrupt the behavior and thought process of a sufferer. Behavioral issues in people who have a personality disorder may make it difficult for them to form relationships, interact with others in social situations and properly care for themselves. There are many different types of personality disorders, and each disorder comes with unique symptoms.

Antisocial personality disorder is defined by habitual lying, legal trouble, impulsiveness, disregard for personal safety, irresponsible behavior and a disregard for the consequences of negative actions. Borderline personality disorder often causes sufferers to exhibit risky behavior, impulsive actions, a fear of being alone, paranoia and up-and-down moods.

Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder causes a person to focus on strict rules and routines. If these routines are broken, the sufferer may become intensely anxious and angry. Hoarding objects and having difficulty parting with money are also symptoms of the disorder.

These are just a few examples of personality disorders. Anyone who feels that their mental health is not stable should consult with a medical professional to explore treatment options. Ongoing cognitive therapy is often prescribed for people who have a personality disorder, and medications including antidepressants and mood stabilizers may be used as part of the treatment regimen.

What is SSDI?

Social security disability insurance (SSDI) refers to an insurance program that is managed by the federal government. The insurance program is funded through paycheck deductions, and these funds are then sent to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to be managed and paid out to people who need support when suffering from a disability. The SSA receives applications for benefits from people who feel that they are eligible for the insurance program, and the organization determines whether applicants truly meet eligibility requirements by reviewing medical records and work history.

The fact that SSDI is funded through paycheck deductions means that people who apply for benefits must have worked in the past in order to qualify. The general rule is that an applicant must have worked for at least five of the 10 years leading up to the date of application, but there are exceptions for people who became disabled before reaching the age of 18. SSDI is intended to help people make ends meet when they cannot work, and it is an earned benefit that should be accessed by people who have worked to receive the coverage.

Getting SSDI for Personality Disorders

The SSA maintains a listing for personality disorders, but it is still the responsibility of the applicant to prove that the symptoms of a mental disorder are severe enough to make working impossible. One way to meet the requirements of a listing is to prove that the applicant is unable to adapt to situations. This can be done by demonstrating a strong preference for being alone, unusual thought or speech patterns, frequent changes in mood or an inability to form and maintain lasting relationships. The inability to adapt must cause complications including an inability to function on a daily basis, severe problems with functioning in social situations or extreme difficulty focusing.

Applicants must provide evidence in the form of psychological test results. In the case of personality disorders, the applicant and those who interact with him or her will also be required to make statements on how the disorder has interfered with their lives. Establishing that a personality disorder exists also requires medical records to show that an ongoing problem exists.

Getting Help from an Attorney

Applying for SSDI benefits is a complex and confusing process for people who are not experienced in dealing with the SSA. Well over half of first-time SSDI applications are denied, and it is common for the SSA to cite a lack of medical evidence or errors on required forms as reasons for these denials. When a valid claim is denied, applicants can go through a lengthy appeals process. Waiting for an appeal to be processed while bills go unpaid adds to the stress of living with a disability.

The best way to alleviate this stress is to consult with a legal professional from the start. SSDI attorneys know SSA requirements related to SSDI applications, and these professionals work to guide their clients through the application process. Gaining peace of mind by making the SSDI application process go more smoothly starts with a legal consultation.

Ruth F. Kolb, Esquire has been practicing social security disability law since 2003 handling all levels of representation from initial claims through all stages of appeal.