Obtaining Social Security disability benefits to treat mental illnesses is more difficult than it is for any physical ailments. This unfortunate reality is due to the nature of mental illness. Although apparent to the sufferer, a mental illness can be difficult for a third party, like a physician or Social Security Administration (SSA) application examiner, to assess and measure. Despite these challenges, Social Security disability benefits are still available for mental disorders. Similar to physical disabilities, a compensable mental disorder requires “documentation of a medically
Recently, a single Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) judge decided a case involving the relevance of Social Security records to veterans’ disability claims. The case does not have precedential value, as a single judge made the ruling. In other words, future judges are not bound to follow it. The case does, however, provide insight into how a judge is likely to rule under a given set of circumstances and explains the law from other cases that are precedential.