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Mental Health Stigma in the Workplace and SSDI

Mental illness can create significant hardship for individuals who are trying to maintain a normal job and life, even when on medication. While many of these workers will struggle to meet expectations, certain issues may make punching the clock difficult, or even impossible. In addition to the difficulties with maintaining employment, many dealing with mental illness are also scared of discussing such conditions with their employers because they don’t want to be touched by the stigma.
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When you cannot work or maintain gainful employment because of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), schizophrenia, or other mental health condition, you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Our Boston SSDI lawyers understand the complications faced by our clients and will take every step to help you secure disability benefits. The Social Security Disability insurance system is complex and the majority of filers will be denied on their first attempt. Correct documentation and accurate filing can help to ensure that you recover benefits in a timely manner.

Recent attention paid to mental health in the workplace shows that a number of patients have difficulty explaining their absences and health conditions to employers. Conditions like depression make patients unable to get out of bed, and may leave them lacking energy, and suffering from a range of other symptoms that can make working strenuous or impossible. Those whose who suffer from depression, bipolar disorder and other debilitating mental health conditions may find it difficult to report their health history and the stigma means that employers are reluctant to keep employees on payroll.

For many of these patients, the search for employment options can be long and arduous. Once gainful employment is procured, keeping a job can be even more difficult, even in times of great financial stress or need. According to new studies, people with mental health illness have the highest rate of unemployment of all disabled. These studies also indicate that half of U.S. employers are reluctant to hire employees who have a past psychiatric history or who are undergoing treatment for depression. This issue sheds light not only on the stigma reflected in hiring, but in the difficult nature of obtaining and maintaining employment for those with mental health conditions.

One of the reasons that employers may be reluctant to hire those with mental illness is a fear of that individual harming another employee. News cycles often indicate that the person involved in an assault or wielding a gun also had a history of mental health illness. These stereotypes and stigmas point to all mental health patients as unreliable, unstable, and even dangerous. In addition to a stigma in the workplace, revealing a mental health condition can also make it impossible to get hired.

Suffering from a mental health condition may involve routine trips to a specialist, medication, and an ongoing battle to stay afloat. If you or someone you love is suffering from a debilitating mental illness, you may be entitled to SSDI benefits. An experienced advocate can review your case and help you recover the financial support you need.

If you are considering filing for SSDI in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

More Blog Entries:
Disability Awareness Efforts a Reminder of Importance of Providing for Disabled, Feb. 20, 2014, Boston SSDI, Attorney Blog
Jobless Don’t Seek SSDI Benefits as Default, Dec. 15, 2014, Boston SSDI Attorney Blog