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Does a borderline personality disorder qualify for disability?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2023 | Social Security Disability

Personality disorders are historically challenging to treat. People who live with a diagnosis like borderline personality disorder may have a very hard time integrating successfully with society. Workplace environments and relationships can be particularly difficult for these patients.

Some workers with this diagnosis may be able to continue working because their jobs require few interactions with the public or supervisors. But many others may find themselves unemployable because of their mental health issues.

Could they qualify for Social Security benefits?

It is certainly possible. Below are examples of ongoing behavioral patterns they must be able to document medically:

  • Suspiciousness and distrust of other people
  • Frequently violating and disregarding others’ rights
  • Detached social relationships with others
  • Feeling inadequate
  • Having unstable relationships
  • Seeking attention
  • Excessive emotional expression
  • Having frequent outbursts of impulsivity and aggressive behavior
  • Expects others to care for them
  • Tendency to demand unrealistic order or perfectionism

The above must also be in combination with the below “extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two” mental functions:

  • Ability to interact with others
  • Capacity to remember, apply or understand information
  • Ability to maintain pace, persist and concentrate
  • Manage oneself and adapt as needed

If these requirements are met, the person could indeed qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

It’s hard to make your own case

Simply having the cognition and competence to present your own case successfully to the Social Security judge is difficult when you are suffering from borderline personality disorder or another mental illness. That’s why it is always prudent to learn all that you can about the laws governing Social Security and its benefits.