1 in 3 on disability for mental disorder; ‘mood disorder’ is most common diagnosis

1 in 3 on disability for mental disorder; ‘mood disorder’ is most common diagnosis

One in three, or 35.2 percent, of people getting federal disability insurance benefits have been diagnosed with a mental disorder, according to the latest data from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Washington, D.C., the seat of the federal government, ranked in the top-ten list of states where disabled beneficiaries were diagnosed with mental problems. …

Disabled beneficiaries have increased 49.7 percent from a decade ago in 2003 when there were 6,830,714 beneficiaries; and the number is up 14.3 percent from the 8,945,376 beneficiaries in 2009, the year President Obama took office.

The largest “diagnostic group” for disabled beneficiaries was a mental disorder. Of the 10,228,364 disabled people receiving federal disability benefits in December 2013, according to the report, 3,599,417, or 35.2 percent, were diagnosed with a mental disorder.

“Musculoskeletal system and connective tissue” problems accounted for the second largest group of disabled beneficiaries. …

Within the mental disorders diagnostic group, the most common specific diagnosis for disabled beneficiaries was a “mood disorder.” According to the report, as of December 2013, 14 percent of all disabled beneficiaries in the United States had such a disorder. …

To be determined to be suffering a disabling mood disorder, a person must exhibit a combination of factors, including such things as “appetite disturbance with change in weight; or sleep disturbance; or psychomotor agitation or retardation; or decreased energy; or feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or difficulty concentrating or thinking; or thoughts of suicide; or hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking.”

Massachusetts led the nation in this category with 22.7 percent of those with mental disorders also diagnosed with a mood disorder.

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