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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) may qualify for SSDI benefits

According to the Social Security Administration, to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, your debilitating condition must limit your ability to seek gainful employment and prevent you from obtaining and performing at a job.

As we enter into the autumn season, we know that winter is right around the corner and will be here before we know it. And with winter often comes cold weather, snow, short days, colds and seasonal holidays. During these times, many Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Until recently, it was not determined whether SAD was a true illness, but it is now listed within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. And, as you've learned from previous blog posts, mental disorders do qualify for SSDI benefits.

The United States Federal Court also has ruled that the seasonal affective disorder illness is covered with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This means that employees who suffer from this illness are entitled to reasonable accommodation. This ruling was made after an elementary school teacher requested to be moved from a classroom without windows while suffering SAD, and was denied by her principal. The teacher then sued the school district and ultimately won the case, claiming that the school did not make reasonable accommodations for her disorder.

This ruling and listing ultimately legitimize the illness, which previously had been under suspicion and was not completely recognized by professionals in the field. This progress may well open the door for those suffering from SAD and allow them to be considered for SSD benefits today and in the future.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I get Disability for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?" Christopher Coble, Sept. 29, 2015

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