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Is BPD a Disability?

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The Social Security Administration (SSA), which administers public disability benefits, includes borderline personality disorders (BPD) among the list of mental disorders that may qualify for disability benefits.  

Though BPD is among the many conditions that can cause disability, applicants are required to meet the specific criteria specified by the SSA. Additionally, applicants must show that their medical condition is severe and that their symptoms restrict their daily activities, including working or earning an income. Additionally, applicants often need to demonstrate that they have undergone treatment for BPD, but it did not improve their ability to function. 

What is BPD?

Borderline personality disorders are a group of mental health disorders that are often associated with a pattern of unstable emotions and behaviors. People with BPD may experience intense and irregular feelings of anger, loneliness, fear, or sadness. Because of this, people with BPD often have difficulty regulating their emotions and may engage in impulsive or self-destructive behaviors, such as substance abuse, disordered eating, or self-harm.

People with BPD may also struggle with maintaining stable relationships, have a negative self-image, or experience intense fear of abandonment. Treatment for BPD typically involves psychotherapy and may also include medication to manage specific symptoms.

Some people may also experience instability or intense fear and isolate themselves because of the condition. Some may experience difficulties in their relationships because of their impulsiveness, anger, and mood swings, which can cause others to avoid them. The signs of BPD can sometimes manifest during childhood and worsen in adulthood. 

BPD is also considered a chronic condition, meaning that symptoms persist over time. Because of this, some may experience a reduction in symptoms or find that their symptoms become more manageable as they become older.

BPD Disability Benefits

What are the Common Causes of BPD?

The cause of BPD is not fully understood and may be influenced by various factors. However, research shows that the disorder may be due to the following factors:

Genetics: Like other mental disorders, BPD may have a hereditary component that increases the risk for those with a family history of it. 

Neurological Factors: Abnormalities in the brain, especially in areas responsible for regulating emotions and impulses, may contribute to the development of BPD. 

Trauma and Abuse: A person who experiences neglect, emotional or physical abuse, or sexual abuse during childhood or adolescence may have an increased risk of developing BPD.

Environmental Factors: Exposure to chronic stress, such as family conflict or financial instability, may also increase the risk of developing BPD.

What are the Symptoms of BPD?

BPD can adversely impact a person’s relationships with others due to their behavior and how they feel about themselves. Some of the common symptoms people may experience include: 

  • Fear of abandonment
  • Inability to handle emotions
  • Frequent changes in self-image and self-identity
  • Inability to face reality and facing periods of stress
  • Impulsive behavior such as binge eating, drug abuse, or reckless driving.
  • Suicidal thoughts and ideations
  • Mood swings lasting from a few hours to days
  • Feelings of emptiness
  • Engaging in physical fights

Can You Get Disability Benefits For BPD?

If a medical condition prevents you from working or earning a living, you may be able to qualify for the disability benefits for BPD. Nearly one in five adults in the U.S. are living with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. The symptoms of any mental illness, including BPD, can vary, and the approval process for disability benefits often depends on the condition’s severity. 

People living with mental health conditions may face costly medical bills and loss of income, which may make it necessary for them to receive disability for BPD. The SSA offers two Social Security disability benefits programs:

  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI)

When applying for disability benefits, providing medical evidence in the form of accurate and relevant medical records is crucial. Medical records play an essential role in the decision-making process and provide important information, such as the date of diagnosis and medical treatment history. If the medical records support an applicant’s claim of having BPD, then they can be used to help attain disability benefits for BPD.

How Do I Apply For BPD Disability?

There are a few different ways to apply for SSDI or SSI. Applicants can submit an application either through the Social Security Administration’s website or by scheduling an appointment at a local SSA office.

If you are unsure about the steps, you may want to contact an attorney to help you with the process. An experienced disability lawyer can help you ensure that your application is thorough and properly submitted with the relevant documentation. 

This may be especially helpful if you receive a denial. A lawyer can help appeal the decision, which you’re allowed to file within 60 days of a denial. 

How Hard Is It to Get Disability Benefits for BPD?

Disabilities that are caused by a mental illness can sometimes be challenging to show when applying for disability benefits. BPD can be especially difficult to demonstrate its disabling nature because of its fluctuating symptoms.

Meeting the Eligibility Criteria 

If you have been diagnosed with BPD, the following help may demonstrate the impact of BPD on daily functioning:

  • Detachment from social relationships
  • Limitations in managing oneself
  • Difficulty Concentrating 
  • Problems accepting criticism
  • Communication problems
  • Inability to complete tasks

Additionally, psychological testing, personality measures testing, and other forms of evaluation can help to determine whether an individual meets the criteria for disability due to BPD.

Residual Functional Capacity (RFC)

Another way to demonstrate disability is through a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC), which is a medical exam that gauges a person’s ability to perform work-related activities. In the context of mental illness, the assessment typically takes into account a person’s ability to concentrate, remember, and understand instructions, as well as their ability to interact with others and adapt to changes in the work environment. 

Considering Applying for Disability Benefits? Contact Us

To simplify the process of claiming disability benefits for BPD, it may be helpful to consult an experienced Miami disability lawyer. They can assist you in substantiating your claim, address your concerns, and guide you through the process.

To learn more about whether you have a valid claim, you can schedule a free consultation by calling us at 1-800-572-3753 or by filling out our contact form. We are available to answer any questions you may have.