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Multiple Personality Disorder and SSA Disability

Multiple personality disorder or dissociative identity disorder is a mental health condition where the claimant has two or more specific and distinct personalities or identities. This disorder has been found to control not only the behavior of a claimant but also their consciousness, and according to, this condition can cause the claimant’s, “emotions, pulse, blood pressure, and blood flow to the brain” to differ between each personality.

Is Multiple Personality Disorder Real?

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde po...

There are skeptics who question whether multiple personality disorder is real but experts agree that multiple personality disorder does exist. Highly trained experts who study this condition have identified several general symptoms associated with this condition including:

  1. The presence of two or more distinct personalities controlling the individual’s actions or behaviors.

  2. The inability to remember personal information

  3. Distinct memory variations between the personalities

  4. Identities which can have different ages or be of a different race or sex

  5. Identities which have specific thoughts and behaviors

Claimants with this condition may also experience a variety of other mental health conditions or symptoms including mood swings, severe depression, eating disorders, compulsions, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, sleep disorders and suicidal tendencies.

These symptoms combined with the dissociative disorder can increase the chances that the claimant will not be able to maintain full-time employment.

Winning SSDI or SSI for Dissociative Personality Disorder

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has two methods they use to determine if a claimant is disabled, unable to work and qualifies for SSDI or SSI benefits. First, the SSA will evaluate their condition and determine if it meets or equals a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. Next, the SSA will determine if they can continue to work through a process called a medical vocational allowance.

As with all conditions, the SSA expects the claimant to have good medical records documenting their condition and to be consistently seeing a doctor and following their prescribed treatment plan.

Meeting a Listing for a Mental Health Disorder

To win benefits for dissociative personality disorder you must prove that your condition meets or exceeds a listing under 12.00 Mental Disorders. This listing includes a section for organic mental disorders, schizophrenic, paranoia and other psychotic disorders, affective disorders, mental retardation, anxiety-related disorders, personality disorders, somatoform disorders, substance abuse disorders, autistic disorders and other pervasive developmental disorders.

Claimants who cannot prove that their condition and resulting symptoms are as severe as the conditions and symptoms listed will have to win SSI or SSDI through a medical vocational allowance.

Winning SSDI or SSI through a medical vocational allowance

To consider whether or not a claimant is disabled through a medical vocational allowance the SSA will determine if the claimant, based on their age, education, work history, and health condition still has the residual functional capacity to work.

A claimant’s medical records should clearly state any behaviors which would interfere with their ability to perform substantial gainful activity. For instance, does the claimant have persistent disturbances in their affect or mood, a pathological dependence, oddities of through, hostility, paranoia, damaging behavior or unstable personal relationships? If so, the claimant may be able to gather enough medical evidence to prove that they would have severe restrictions in their activities of daily living, severe difficulties functioning socially or difficulty maintaining their persistence, pace and concentration in a work setting.


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