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What is a personality disorder in mental illness disability?

This blog has touched on several kinds of psychological problems individuals may be afflicted with that can create an inability to do substantial labor. So far we have focused on some problems that fairly obviously affect people's lives and their ability to complete daily tasks, such as Schizophrenia or clinical depression. This week we are going to discuss some disorders that may not come as readily to mind when New Jersey residents think about people who qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. These are known as personality disorders.

Most people have met or had to work with others who may have had difficulty getting along with friends or colleagues, or simply were not well-prepared for various social interactions. While this kind of behavior is not necessarily indicative of a disabling condition, there are medically recognized disorders that manifest themselves in an inability to relate or deal with other human beings. According to the Social Security Administration's Blue Book, these personality disorders can sometimes qualify one for SSDI benefits.

Section 12.08 of this publication sets out some of the factors the SSA will look at when making this determination. The applicant in these cases will have to show a pattern of behavior that is deeply ingrained and maladaptive. These behaviors can run the gamut from those who have isolating or autistic type thinking, to people who express inappropriate paranoia, aggressiveness or hostility. They might also include particularly passive or dependent behavior, or particularly strange thinking, speech patterns or behavior.

The important thing to grasp from this is that however the mental illness disability manifests itself, it needs to significantly affect the ability of the person to function by restricting his or her ability to complete the tasks of daily living, maintain social relationships and functioning, maintain pace or concentration, or create repeated, extended periods of decompensation. This means that to receive SSDI based on such a disorder, a person must likely show more than just that he or she is simply not easy to get along with.

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