Can I Get Social Security Disability for Gender Dysphoria?

transgender_personGender dysphoria, also known as gender identity disorder or transgenderism, affects people whose biological sex and gender identity don't match.

Although some people with this condition often suffer severe emotional and mental effects, transgender people often meet with resistance when claiming disability benefits related to their gender identity.

 

Claiming Social Security Disability Benefits for the Effects of Gender Dysphoria

The Social Security Administration (SSA) relies on many sources for its evolving definitions of disability, one of which is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Under the ADA, gender identity disorders are only considered disabling if they stem from a physical impairment, while transvestism, transsexualism, or other sexual behavior disorders aren't considered disabilities.

While transgenderism in itself isn't a recognized disability, a person with the condition may have one or more other disorders that qualify for disability payment. As long as the conditions suffered make it difficult or impossible for a person to work for a period of one year or more, he or she should qualify for disability benefits.

Mental effects of gender dysphoria that may qualify for benefits include:

  • Anxiety. Transgender people are often targeted or bullied, which can cause anxiety so severe that he or she is unable to leave the house. If he or she has been attacked, he or she may also suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a compensable condition under Social Security disability.
  • Clinical depression. Many people suffer from long-term depression due to the experiences they have living and interacting with others as transgender individuals. Depression is a recognized disability because it can affect a person's ability to maintain employment.
  • Mental illness. Some people may experience bipolar disorder or schizophrenia along with gender identity conflicts. In order to get benefits for these conditions, a person will need to supply evidence of diagnosis, ongoing treatment, the effects of the condition as well as the treatment (including medications); and demonstrate how the condition affects his or her residual functional capacity (RFC), one of the classifications used by the SSA to determine benefits eligibility.

If you've been denied your rightful Social Security benefits, our attorneys can examine your claim and fight on your behalf. Call us today or fill out the form on this page to set up your consultation with a Social Security attorney.