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Borderline Personality Disorder disability benefits are available if you cannot work for more than 12 months. To determine if you are eligible for benefits for this mental disorder, you need to look at SSA Listing 12.08.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a mental condition with inflexible and maladaptive patterns of behavior. The disease usually begins in adolescence or young adulthood. Symptoms may include patterns of distrust, suspiciousness, and odd beliefs. For example, you may think people are talking about you. Also, you may experience paranoia or anger. Symptoms like these will cause trouble working with others.

One of the most common symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder is social detachment or avoidance of others. For example, you may avoid family parties or have very few friends. You may also be overly sensitive to criticism. Other issues include an excessive need to be taken care of and difficulty making independent decisions.

Additionally, you may have a preoccupation with orderliness and perfectionism. It is not unusual for people with this disorder to have issues with control. For example, you may wash your hands 40 times a day. Likewise, you may be unable to leave the house without going through a list of activities in a certain order. You may also try to control other people.


Borderline Personality Disorder is characterized by impulsive anger. The disorder also involves anger that is grossly out of proportion to the situation you are in. For example, you may have lost your temper at your supervisor or other employees.

Other examples might be road rage that results in you getting out of your car in order to pound on someone else’s car. Or, for example, you might chase another driver in your car because you are angry. Likewise, you may think you are the only person at work who can do the job correctly. Perhaps you threaten other employees when you think they are not doing a good job? These are extreme examples of impulsive anger. Does any of these examples sound like you?

Examples of disorders in this category include paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, and borderline personality disorder. It also includes other categories. These are avoidant, dependent, obsessive-compulsive personality disorders, and intermittent explosive disorder.

Obviously, there are many titles and definitions in this mental category. Most of the symptoms of these disorders involve difficulty getting along with others. This may make you ask, “what is borderline personality disorder?” For purposes of disability benefits, it is best to focus on the disabling symptoms of the disorder. A list of the possible symptoms are found below.

social security disability for borderline personality disorder


The SSA looks at Borderline Personality Disorder using listing 12.08. The following is a copy of the listing from the SSA’s “blue book.” (SSA’s listing used to be published in a pamphlet with a blue cover.) In order to meet listing 12.08 and be found disabled, you will need to meet the following criteria:

12.08 Personality and impulse-control disorders (see 12.00B7), satisfied by A and B:

  1. Medical documentation of a pervasive pattern of one or more of the following:
    1. Distrust and suspiciousness of others;
    2. Detachment from social relationships;
    3. Disregard for and violation of the rights of others;
    4. Instability of interpersonal relationships;
    5. Excessive emotionality and attention seeking;
    6. Feelings of inadequacy;
    7. Excessive need to be taken care of;
    8. Preoccupation with perfectionism and orderliness; or
    9. Recurrent, impulsive, aggressive behavioral outbursts.


  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1).
    2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2).
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3).
    4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4).

This list of symptoms may not contain all of your mental issues. However, even if it contains some of your symptoms, you should make sure to have your treating physician write about these symptoms in his or her progress notes.

Progress notes are the notes a doctor makes when you visit the doctor’s office. Your doctor’s progress notes should report your symptoms. If you fail to report your symptoms to your doctor, then they won’t appear in the progress notes. Additionally, you will not get the treatment you need for your Borderline Personality Disorder.


Borderline personality disorder is usually treated with psychotherapy. However,  medication may also be given to you by your doctor. If your symptoms are severe, your doctor may also hospitalize you. Especially, if you are at risk of suicide or hurting yourself or others.


Treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder can help you learn skills to manage your mental condition. Psychotherapy is one tool you can use. This is often called “talk therapy.” In talk therapy, you meet with a therapist on a weekly or biweekly basis. Your therapist can teach you emotional tools to to help you manage your emotions.

Likewise, your therapist can help you recognize that emotions come and go. If you feel uncomfortable with your emotions, you can examine that and learn to control it. Additionally, therapists can help you with impulsivity. You can also learn to work on your relationships with other people.

Here are two types of “talk therapy” that can help you with your condition:

  • Mentalization-based therapy (MBT). MBT is a type of talk therapy that helps you identify your own thoughts and feelings at any given moment and create an alternate perspective on your situation. MBT emphasizes thinking before reacting.
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). DBT includes group and individual therapy designed specifically to treat borderline personality disorder. DBT uses a skills-based approach to teach you how to manage your emotions, tolerate distress and improve relationships.

The goal of all talk therapy and other forms of treatment, like medications, is to help you feel better and learn to handle your mental symptoms so you can have a fulfilling life.


One of the other good things about mental health treatment is that if you have other conditions, such as depression or anxiety, then you can get treatment for that too. On this website, we have free and low cost treatment options in Utah. We also have a list of low cost and free mental health options in Nevada. If you need to learn more about depression and disability benefits, go here. Likewise, read here if you need to learn more about Bipolar Disorder.  We also have  information on our website about anxiety disorder.

Another treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder is medication. Medications, for example, may include antidepressants or mood-stabilizing medication. Talk to your doctor about whether medications are a good option for you. Also, make sure you talk to your doctor about the side-effects of medications. With talk therapy and medication treatment, you can feel better and live a more rewarding life.

If you or someone you know with Borderline Personality Disorder is thinking of harming themselves or attempting suicide, they need help right away. Do not wait. They are in crisis and there is help.

Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are free and confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency.


At Cannon Disability Law, we can help you apply for benefits. There are many forms to complete when you first apply for disability benefits. We want to make sure you complete the forms properly. Also, we can help you submit your application. Or, if you prefer you can file your own application online at Social Security’s website.

Additionally, if you can’t apply online, you can apply by calling the SSA’s number, 1-800-772-1213. Or you can schedule an appointment at the local SSA office near you. Then, you can apply in person. However, if you have Borderline Personality Disorder or other mental conditions, you may need help applying for benefits.

If you need help with the application process, contact the specialists at Cannon Disability Law to help you apply. We recommend applying for benefits through your SSD attorney. Your lawyer will make sure that your application is complete. Additionally, your lawyer can submit your medical records. She can also submit disability information with your SSD application. Of course, you can also apply without legal assistance. Some people prefer to apply on their own. Then, if they receive a denial they hire an attorney.

While many applicants do this, we do not think it is the best course of action. The SSA is looking for particular information to see if you qualify for disability. Why not start with hiring a lawyer? The lawyer can submit your information for you. This may shorten the waiting time for a decision. However, even if you hire a lawyer to help submit your application, you may still receive a denial. Most people receive a denial after the initial application. Do not give up.  Additionally, if you receive a denial, make sure you file a timely appeal.

Borderline Personality Disorder. Helthcare conceptual image. 3D rendering. Neon bulb illumination


If the SSA sent you a denial, you have 60 days to appeal the denial. Make sure you file a timely appeal. Do not miss the deadline. We can also help you appeal a denial from the SSA. Whether it is a denial at the initial or reconsideration level, we will answer your questions. Do not hesitate to contact us to help you win your case. Put the legal experience of our team to work for you.

If you receive a denial at the reconsideration stage, then it is time to request a hearing. You will also only have 60 days from the receipt of the denial to send in your request for hearing to the local Social Security office near you. There is an address in the denial that tells you where to send your request for hearing. You can also request a hearing online.

If you hire us as your Social Security lawyers, we will send the request for hearing to the SSA for you. If you send it in yourself, always keep a copy of what you sent to the SSA. It is not uncommon for the SSA to lose paperwork. Therefore, if you have a copy of what you sent, then you can always prove you sent it to the SSA on time.

If necessary, we can also appeal your case to the Appeals Council. Additionally, we file appeals in Federal Court. Our advice is to appeal any denial you receive. Finally, we can represent you no matter where you live. For example, we can represent you if need a disability attorney in Utah or Nevada. Also, we can help you if you live in Idaho, Colorado, or California. Give us a call today.


In order to hire Cannon Disability Law, all you need to do is call us. We offer a free consultation. And, it doesn’t cost anything to call us.  Better yet, it also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This is a contingency fee. It means if we win your SSD case, you pay the attorney fee out of your back benefits. If you do not win, there is no attorney fee to pay.

We specialize in helping you prove your disability. Our goal is to develop your case, so your medical records show the SSA you have a disability. A severe mental disability means you cannot work.

We need to prove that your Borderline Personality Disorder meets Listing 12.08. Our legal team works hard to prepare your case, because we know you need disability benefits to replace your income. When you are looking for a legal team, hire a firm who has experience. Also, hire a team with a proven record. Contact us today for your free consultation.


Additionally, you can find out more about your legal team on our About Us page. For example, Dianna Cannon has been practicing disability law for over 30 years. She is admitted to practice in Utah, California, and Nevada. Learn more information here about Nevada disability benefits.

Brett Bunkall has won hundreds of cases in Utah, Idaho and California. Andria Summers has over 20 years of experience helping claimants win disability benefits. Our representatives know the law. Together, we have won over $100 million in ongoing and past due disability benefits for our clients. Contact us today to hire a disability attorney with experience. Experience wins SSD & SSI benefits for borderline personality disorder.

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