Is Bipolar Disorder a ‘Real’ Disability?

Anxiety or depression can lead to symptoms of low energy, poor concentration, suicidal thoughts, and problems sleeping. In case you have anxiety and bipolar disorder, you perhaps have depression combined with periods of manic behaviour with quick speech.


In case you struggle for keeping up with employment because of your bipolar disorder, you should know your rights under the ADA (Americans with Disability Act). Bipolar disorder decides your real disability, but that does not mean everybody with this disorder is considered automatically SSI (Supplemental Security Income) or disability payments.


This blog discusses how bipolar disorder decides your real disability, i.e. what symptoms and limitations meet a disability listing for anxiety or bipolar disorder.


Fulfilling Disability Criteria for Anxiety or Bipolar Disorder


The SSA (Social Security Administration) will consider disability benefits automatically for bipolar disorder in case you can showcase that your limitations and symptoms meet all criteria listed in its official disability listing for bipolar disorder. The SSA will grant treatment notes from your psychologist or GP, psychological testing, mental status analysis, and every report of hospitalisation.




To qualify for disability depending on anxiety or depression, you should showcase at least 5 of the following symptoms:

  • Reduced interest in nearly every activity

  • Depressed mood

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Overeating or poor appetite entailing a change in weight

  • Problem thinking or focusing

  • Suicidal or death thoughts

  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • Slow physical reactions and movement.

To qualify depending on bipolar disorder, you should have at least 3 of the following symptoms:

  • Rapid changing thoughts and thought patterns

  • Unnaturally rapid speech

  • Inflated confidence

  • Destructibility

  • Reduced requirement for sleep

  • Increased physical agitation

  • Engagement in risky activities that are not identified.



For anxiety or bipolar disorder, you need to showcase that you also have a loss of capacities, either a severe limitation in 2 or more of the following areas or a high limitation in 1 of the following areas:

  • Focusing on and completing tasks

  • Adapting to transform or handling oneself (having practical personal skills like shopping, paying bills, controlling behaviour, and practising good hygiene)

  • Realising, keeping in mind or utilising data (the capacity of understanding guidelines, learning, and remembering new things)

  • Communicating with others utilising socially relevant behaviours.

Final Words


To qualify for disability benefits, you will have to showcase evidence of more than only an analysis of anxiety and bipolar disorder. You will have to present proof that your anxiety or bipolar disorder is very extreme that you cannot function or work properly.


Rather, in case you cannot showcase that presently you have this loss of capacities because you have been living in a highly protected or structured condition or going through intense treatment, you may be capable of qualifying for disability benefits in case you can showcase that you have decreased ability for adapting to changes in your environments or demands that already are not involved in your day to day life.