More threads by Pilonea


Holding a job, over the past several years, has proved rather difficult, if not near impossible -- no matter how hard I try. Since "Bipolar Disorder" has been my official diagnosis in the past, I decided to pose this question to this forum.

I am interested (really I have no choice or I'll be out on the streets) in applying for SSI benefits (I am a US citizen, since I know many here are Canadian). My question is to those who know; how hard is it to actually get these benefits? I am 27 years old, in good health, other than my mental insanity, and am just curious what my chances of receiving benefits are. Should I file myself or should I utilize some sort of thrid-party company to help me?

Should I begin seeing my doctor again? I hear this is necessary in order for the SSI board to be convinced of an ongoing illness.

If SSI doesn't work out, do I have an other avenues for income? This is really my last ditch effort on life, and if it fails, I will probably dispose of myself for good. I am but a burden on my family and everyone else I can conceive of, and still feel that permanent darkness is better that dealing with the disaster that has become my life and my mind.

Thanks in advance for any help.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
With any luck, some of the US members will chime in here... you might also look at other threads on SSI benefits (it might be a good idea to set up a new section on disability applications for the forum).

1. you most definitely should be seeing your family doctor at a minimum, since medical documentation is going to be needed

2. seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist is also helpful since what will needs to be documented is a "mental disorder" rather than a physical problem

3. since the issue is OCD, you should be on some sort of medication

4. with all of this, it will still be a slow process

Basically, you need to show that (a) you are doing everything you can to overcome the disability, taking advantage of all avenues open to you; and (b) that the condition is "permanent" and essentially "total" (if you can work half time or part time, you probably don't qualify).

Edit: "permanent" and "total" don't necessarily need to mean for the rest of your life but for the foreseeable future.


David has given you the best advice, I think. You must see a doctor, who will probably refer you to a psychiatrist/psychologist for evaluation. The results of the evaluation will determine your level of disability. If it is evident that, because of your illness, you are unable to work, the psychiatrist will write a letter outlining your disability and confirming that you cannot hold gainful employment. This will be used by SSI in determining your benefits, should you be approved. It is a long and tedious process, unfortunately. :(


Actually SSI determination which is determined by the Social Securiy Administration involves confirming that a person cannot work for medical reasons. If you have worked enough over your life you would be able to receive SSDI which pays at a rate based on how much you paid in over your work career and has similar criteria. Both involve SSA looking at your work history and medical records. Letters from psychiatrists would not be looked at, if you meet all other criteria you will then see a doctor with SSA who will confirm your disability. If you are 27 and healthy other than the mental illness it would be unlikely that you will receive SSI, especially with a recent work history. Also being on SSI is no picnic, you will receive a small amount, currently about $600.00 a month and lose that if you ever get any resources or income.
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