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TaxRobin, Tax Preparer
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15738
Experience:  15+ years in tax preparation and instruction
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I am 78 years old. I am polar. I have been under a doctor's

Customer Question

I am 78 years old. I am bi polar. I have been under a doctor's care for it for many years. i can still get into an episode even when I am on medication. I have made some very poor money decisions when I am in an episode. I have lost most all of my money by poor decisions. Would I be eligible to receive any type of disability payments?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 2 years ago.

Hello,So sorry to hear of your situation.

To qualify for disability benefits for bipolar disorder, your condition must be severe enough that either of the following are true, even with proper medication:

  • You meet the specific requirements for bipolar disorder that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has set out in its impairment listing on affective (mood) disorders.
  • You can’t function at a high enough and consistent enough level to hold a basic, unskilled job.

You can view the full SSA list for Mental Disorders here

If you do not meet the above criteria, you may still qualify with a medical history documenting at least two years of any chronic affective disorder, including Bipolar Disorder, you could be granted disability benefits, despite the support of medication, if the impairment or ailment has resulted in:

  • limitations of the capacity to perform basic work action, even when symptoms are controlled with psychosocial support and medication.
  • the claimant’s condition must lead to persistent decompensation periods, or
  • the residual illness process has caused a subsidiary adjustment that even a nominal boost in mental demands would cause the claimant to decompensate.

You would have to apply to know for certain.