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If you have an adjustment disorder, then you might qualify for SSDI or SSI benefits. While many  assume that SSDI benefits are only for those with physical limits that prevent work. Mental or emotional conditions also qualify for benefits. In fact, the SSA will examine every physical or mental symptom that impacts your ability to work.

An adjustment disorder is a mental health condition triggered by a significant reaction to a stressful event. Your reaction to the event may be out of proportion. It may also impair your ability to function in daily life.

There are many causes for adjustment disorders. For example, you may experience the loss of a loved one or the failure of a marriage. Other events, like a job loss, financial issues, or having to move may also cause emotional or mental distress. Ongoing issues, such as conflict in a close relationship or a serious illness can cause a person to develop an adjustment disorder.

Unlike other mental health disorders, the symptoms of adjustment disorders usually begin within three months of the triggering event. They also may resolve within six months after the event or once you have adapted to the new situation. To win SSD benefits, your adjustment disorder must last longer than 12 months.

People who suffer from an adjustment disorder report symptoms very similar to depression. For example, they report symptoms of feeling hopeless, crying, and thoughts of suicide. It is estimated that each year, one in every five suicides in the U.S. are linked to an adjustment disorder.

Adjustment disorder as a complex topic under close inspection. Complexity shown as puzzle pieces with dozens of ideas and concepts correlated to Adjustment disorder,3d illustrationCAN YOU GET SSD BENEFITS FOR AN ADJUSTMENT DISORDER?

If you have an adjustment disorder, then it is possible to win SSD benefits. However, the burden in on you to prove your adjustment disorder prevents you from working. In order to prove you should be paid benefits, you  need medical records that prove your symptoms are severe.

The SSA has a list of psychiatric conditions that qualify for SSD benefits. Adjustment disorders are not on that list. Instead, related disorders, like anxiety and depression are listed. People who have symptoms of an adjustment disorder while suffering from another mental disorder have a higher chance of approval.

The SSA evaluates an application by reading your medical records. Your records are the most important evidence of your adjustment disorder. If you have an adjustment disorder, then you need a counselor and a doctor. Your doctor can prescribe medication to help your symptoms. The progress notes from your counselor and doctor will show how your condition responds to treatment. If you cannot work, then your treating providers can offer their opinion to the SSA.


You can apply for SSDI benefits in person at your local SSA office. Also, you can apply for benefits over the phone or online at the Social Security website. You can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in the same way. Whether you apply online or in person make sure you complete your application. The SSA deals with thousands of cases on a daily basis. If there are errors in your application, then it will delay your case.


Qualifying for SSD benefits means your adjustment disorder prevents you from working at all jobs. The SSA uses a five step review process to determine if they can pay you benefits. Below, you can find an explanation as to each type of benefit for which you can apply:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who can no longer work due to a severe medical condition. The amount of money you receive from SSDI benefits is based on the taxes you paid during your working years. To qualify for SSDI, you must have earned enough “work credits” to qualify. Learn more about work credits and SSD benefits. Everyone has a different SSDI benefit, because every person earns different amounts of money during their lifetime.

A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you need depends on how old you are when you apply for benefits. If you haven’t earned enough work credits, then you will only be able to file for SSI benefits. SSI benefits do not require you to have any work credits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit. It is for those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income and assets of those who live with you, such as a spouse. They will count the income of anyone with whom you share finances.

If you have a spouse who earns $4000 a month, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. The same rule applies if you are living with a boyfriend and he is paying your bills. Also, the same rule applies if you are living with your common law wife and she is paying your bills. You cannot get SSI benefits, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.


Adjustment disorder symptoms vary from person to person. However, once your have adapted to the stressor that created the disorder, your symptoms should subside. If left untreated, then adjustment disorder can impact your daily life and keep you from working. Below is a list of common symptoms associated with adjustment disorder:

  1. Feeling sad or hopeless
  2. Anxiety or feeling nervous
  3. Concentration problems
  4. Irritability or anger
  5. Changes in weight
  6. Problems with not sleeping or sleeping too much
  7. Fatigue or lack of energy
  8. Withdrawal from social activities and relationships
  9. Avoidance of responsibilities
  10. Reckless behavior
  11. Physical complaints without a clear medical cause
  12. Difficulty coping with everyday tasks
  13. Excessive worry
  14. Unable to cope with emotions
  15. Relationship problems or conflicts with others

If you have the above symptoms for more than 12 months, then you should apply for SSD benefits. It can take up to two years to win SSD benefits. Therefore, it is important to apply for benefits as soon as you realize you cannot work.


Fortunately, adjustment disorder responds to treatment.  Treatment options can help you manage your symptoms and regain emotional stability. Below you will find some common treatment approaches:

  1. Psychotherapy: Talk therapy is often the main treatment for Adjustment Disorder. Through counseling, you can explore your thoughts and emotions. You can also gain insight into your challenges and help you develop better ways of coping with your symptoms.
  2. Medication: Medication may help lessen the symptoms of anxiety or depression that are part of adjustment disorder. Antidepressants medications may be used for relief while you engage in therapy and develop coping skills.
  3. Stress Management: Learning stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, can help you manage your emotions.
  4. Supportive Resources: Joining support groups, either in person or online, can provide you with a sense of community. Sharing your experiences and coping strategies with others who have similar issues can help ease your symptoms.

Recognizing the signs of adjustment disorder and seeking treatment will help you. But, it will also help your case for SSD benefits. In order to win benefits, you must prove your that you have a psychiatric illness and that you are seeking treatment. Your medical records are the evidence that the SSA will need before they grant your benefits.


While there is no listing for adjustment disorder, the listing that is closest to the condition is depression. The SSA listing for depression is listing 12.04.

12.04 Depressive, bipolar and related disorders, satisfied by A and B, or A and C:

  1. Medical records that document the symptoms in paragraph 1 or 2:
    1. Depressive disorder with five or more of the following:
      1. Depressed mood;
      2. Diminished interest in almost all activities;
      3. Appetite disturbance with change in weight;
      4. Sleep trouble;
      5. Observable psychomotor agitation or retardation;
      6. Decreased energy;
      7. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
      8. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
      9. Thoughts of death or suicide.

B. Bipolar disorder with three or more of the following:

        1. Pressured speech;
        2. Flight of ideas;
        3. Inflated self esteem;
        4. Decreased need for sleep;
        5. Distractibility;
        6. Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences; or
        7. Increase in goal directed activity or psychomotor agitation.



  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental function:
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information.
    2. Interact with others.
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace.
    4. Adapt or manage oneself.


  1. Your mental disorder in this listing category is “serious and persistent;” that is, you have a medical history of the existence of the condition over a period of at least 2 years, and there is evidence of both:
    1. Medical treatment, mental health therapy, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental condition; and
    2. Marginal adjustment, that is, you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life.

Meeting listing 12.04 requires you to prove the above. Normally, when you have an adjustment disorder your symptoms are not as severe as those from listing 12.04. However, if your adjustment disorder continues or does not respond to treatment, then you may meet listing 12.04.


Our law firm can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you file an appeal after every SSA denial. That way, you can focus on your health. Our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your application for benefits online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to complete it. However, if you have a medical condition that automatically wins SSD benefits, you should not wait to finish your application. Once you submit your online application, the SSA mails you an application summary. You must sign the summary and mail it back.

Additionally, once you receive a denial from the SSA, you have 60 days to file an appeal. You must meet the time limit set by the SSA. If you do not, then you will have to start the process over again. That means you will lose any benefits you could receive on a prior application.


To qualify for SSD benefits, you need to work with a counselor and mental health doctor to manage your psychiatric illness. Your doctor and counselor can explain that your symptoms are so severe that you cannot hold down a job.

If you want to win your SSD case, then you need medical evidence. Therefore, you must see treating providers. Doctor’s progress notes and medical opinions are the evidence for your SSD case. If you do not have ongoing treatment from a doctor and counselor, then you will not win your benefits.

For example, you could get treatment from a counselor, nurse, and doctor. They can give you medication. If you can’t afford private therapy, then there is group therapy. Finally, if you cannot afford therapy, then we have a list of free and low cost clinics. Choose your state and call the free clinic for mental help:

All of the listed clinics and health centers state on their websites whether they will accept a payment plan. Likewise, some clinics may provide services on a sliding fee scale. Other clinics are free. Contact the clinics directly.


If you need help filing for SSD benefits for adjustment disorder, then call the best SSD law firm. Contact Cannon Disability Law. Also, if you need help finding free or low cost medical care, then use our list of free medical resources. Taking the first step by calling us. That is all you need to do to begin your journey to winning benefits. Just reach out to our legal team.

Our legal team wants to help you. We offer a free review of your case. What that means is that you can call us and explain your situation. Next, we will look at the merits of your case for free. Then, we will let you know if you have a chance to win benefits. We will be asking you if are getting medical treatment. Be ready to tell us the name, address, and phone number of all of your treating providers.

Hire us. We know how to prove your case to the SSA. Our legal team prepares you for success. During your case, we collect your medical records. All you have to do is get treatment from your doctor. Medical records from your treating sources prove you deserve benefits.


In 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases. If you want to win SSD benefits, then hire an attorney with the experience to win your case. Also, you need a lawyer to prove to the SSA that they should pay you benefits.

If you want to learn more about our law firm, then read our About Us page. For instance, Andria Summers is can help you with your Medicare plan. She has also won thousands of SSD cases.

Dianna Cannon has been helping clients win benefits for thirty years. She has won cases at the Appeals Council and in Federal Court. Brett Bunkall also has years of legal experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. We are experts. Together, we have won over $100 million in ongoing and past due SSDI benefits for our clients. Our legal team has the experience you need to win your benefits.

You may wonder why you should hire an attorney. The reason you need an attorney is that it is difficult to win Social Security benefits. Your attorney can give you advice and steer you toward doctors who can help you. Also, your attorney knows the medical rules that win benefits. These rules are hard to meet. You need an attorney to make arguments to the SSA judge. Also, your attorney protects your rights during the SSA review process.

We know you need SSD benefits to replace your income. Like you, we want to win your benefits. Contact us today for your free review of your case. Let us help you win SSDI and SSI benefits for adjustment disorder. Hire us. Put our years of legal experience to work for you.

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