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Bipolar Disorder affects millions of Americans each year

In addition to physical disabilities and medical illnesses, the Social Security Disability Insurance program, run by the Social Security Administration, or SSA, also distributes benefits for people who suffer from mental illnesses that prevent them from working. Among the mental illnesses that qualify for the program are mental retardation, autistic disorders, depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Previously known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that causes bouts of depression and mania. Symptoms may include a range of emotions, from feelings of grandiosity or self-importance, to irritability, to sleeplessness to the engagement of activities that may ultimately lead to negative consequences. Like many other mood disorders, bipolar disorders may be treated with psychotherapy and medications.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly four percent of Americans suffer from some form of bipolar disorder. It has also been determined that among all health care diagnoses treated in the U.S., bipolar disorder is the most expensive. Yet this figure may also include many secondary associated costs, such as productivity loss and absenteeism from the workplace.

People in New Jersey who have a mental illness disability that affects their life and prohibits them from working may be entitled to Social Security Disability Insurance through the SSA. While suffering from a debilitating mental illness, like bipolar disorder, it may be especially difficult to traverse the complex application process. Accordingly, people in this situation may want to to talk to an attorney familiar with SSDI benefits to see whether they qualify and to guide them along the way.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Burden of Mental Illness," Accessed Oct. 12, 2015

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