Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that involves significant emotional instability and impulsive behaviors. Individuals with this condition often have difficulty controlling emotions and may experience personality changes over short periods of time.
If you have been diagnosed with this disorder, you may be eligible for Social Security benefits. There are two ways to qualify for benefits and they are explained below.
If you want to apply for benefits, our Phoenix Social Security Disability attorneys may be able to help. We are experienced in helping individuals with disabilities obtain the benefits they deserve from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
Blue Book Listing for Borderline Personality Disorder
One way to obtain benefits is by proving you meet the criteria in the SSA's Blue Book listing for borderline personality disorder. This means you must provide evidence of a diagnosis of a personality disorder and a documented pattern of at least one of the following symptoms:
- Being suspicious and not trusting others
- Detaching from social relationships
- Feeling inadequate
- Being preoccupied with order or perfectionism
- Having unstable personal relationships
- Constantly needing to be taken care of
- Disregarding and violating the rights of others
- Seeking attention from others in an excessive manner
- Recurrent, impulsive and aggressive behavioral outbursts
You must also show an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a marked limitation in two of the following areas:
- Concentrating on tasks, which can mean ignoring or avoiding distractions when you are working, completing tasks promptly, moving on to another activity without being disruptive, working with other people without causing them to be distracted
- Managing yourself, which means adapting to changes, controlling your behavior or having awareness of normal hazards
- Interacting with other people, such as responding to suggestions, criticisms and challenges in an appropriate manner
- Remembering and understanding information, which can mean following instructions and using reason to make decisions at work
Evidence to Prove Your Case
You will need evidence to establish that you meet the SSA's criteria for borderline personality disorder. There are two types of evidence you will need:
The SSA gives significant weight to medical evidence. You should provide as much relevant medical evidence as possible, including:
- Diagnosis by a qualified doctor – You must have a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder by a person qualified to make this diagnosis.
- Medical history – The SSA will want to see your treatment history over an extended period of time to see how your condition has developed and how you have responded to treatment. Include doctors' statements about how your condition affects your ability to work and function as well as how long these limitations are expected to last.
- Test results – Provide SSA with test results, such as neuropsychology testing, psychological testing and personality measures testing.
- Laboratory results – The SSA will want to see laboratory findings from your psychiatrist or psychologist.
Non-medical evidence can also help demonstrate how borderline personality disorder affects your life. Friends, family members and former coworkers may be able to discuss factors such as:
- Your daily activities
- Problems your borderline personality disorder has caused at work
- Your attempts at working
- The limitations the condition has put on your life
Inability to Work
If you cannot meet the criteria in the listing for borderline personality disorder, you still may qualify for benefits if you can show that borderline personality disorder prevents you from working. If you can still perform the same work or other work, your claim will be denied.
The SSA considers various factors in making a determination about whether you can work, including your:
- Work history
- Transferrable job skills
The SSA will also determine your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), which is an assessment of the most that you can handle physically and mentally when all of your medical conditions and symptoms are taken into consideration.
The person completing the RFC form notes limitations on your ability to perform basic work-related tasks and duties, such as sitting, standing, walking, crouching, remembering, understanding and applying information. If your condition prevents you from working at your current job or a job in another field, you might qualify for benefits.
Contact an Attorney for Help
If you would like to know if you may be eligible for benefits, contact Dayes Law Firm PC. We provide a free consultation to review the facts of your case. We can help you apply for Social Security Disability by gathering evidence to support your claim and presenting it in a way that highlights the limitations that borderline personality disorder has on your ability to work.
Our attorneys work on contingency, which means we only get paid for our legal services if your claim is approved and you are awarded benefits.
Call our attorneys right now at 1-800-503-2000.