Bipolar disorder is a mental health illness that often delays in diagnosis in the state of New York. Many blue-collar workers may not think they need to see a mental health professional. Unfortunately, without that diagnosis, you cannot use it to apply for social security disability benefits even if it preventing you from working or maintaining a job.

According to the Social Security Administration, the symptoms of your bipolar disorder must severely affect you and your abilities to function in order to be classified as a disability. In January 2017, the Social Security Administration updated its official list of symptoms. The SSA requires applicants to have at least three symptoms. The list includes inflated self-esteem, distractibility, unnaturally fast, frenzied speech, decreased need for sleep, increase in physical agitation, quickly changing ideas and thought patterns or involvement in risky activities with painful consequences.

While you may experience the minimal symptoms listed above, you must also meet functional criteria to be considered disabled. Functional criteria limit your abilities keeping you from holding a job. If you cannot manage yourself, have trouble interacting with others or information is hard to understand, use or remember, you may qualify for Social Security Disability.

If you do not meet the functional criteria, your functional capacity may be considered. A medical diagnosis for Bipolar I or II from a licensed healthcare professional is a requirement. A medical-vocational allowance is an SSA grant for those who even unskilled work is difficult to perform. This is general information only and is not intended to provide legal advice.