Social Security Disability for Bipolar Disorder

Serving Spokane & Coeur D’Alene
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Eric and Gary Penar

If you suffer from bipolar disorder, you’re not alone. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health has estimated that 5.7 million American adults live with this mental illness.

When you have bipolar disorder, your illness often translates into financial problems.

During a depressive episode, you can be so depressed that you can’t get out of bed, much less go to work and focus on your job.

And during a manic episode, your behavior may be impulsive, including spending lots of cash or racking up credit card bills that you can’t afford to pay.

If your case is so severe that you can’t hold down your job, it’s not your fault.

Social Security Disability benefits—including monthly checks and Medicare health coverage—exist to keep you from financial ruin when you can’t work because of physical or mental health conditions.

About 1.4 million people receive disability benefits for mood disorders. The lawyers at the Gary Penar Law Offices have helped people in the Spokane region, Eastern Washington State, and North Idaho win disability benefits for two decades.

How to qualify for disability benefits with bipolar disorder

Social Security officially recognizes bipolar disorder in its “blue book” list of impairments that can qualify you for disability benefits.

To prove you need benefits with bipolar disorder, you must show the following:

1. You’re experiencing three or more of these symptoms:

  • Pressured speech
  • Flight of ideas
  • Inflated self-esteem
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Distractibility
  • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that you don’t recognize
  • Increased goal-directed activity
  • Physical agitation

2. You also experience extreme limitation in one or marked limitation in two of these areas:

  • The ability to understand, remember or apply information
  • The ability to interact with others
  • The ability to concentrate, persist or maintain pace
  • The ability to adapt to changes and manage daily life

3. Even if you don’t meet any of the difficulties in number two, you still may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits if:

  • You have a medical record of bipolar disorder for at least two years
  • You have been in regular counseling/therapy treatment to diminish your symptoms
  • You have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or new situations

Gathering medical evidence that clearly shows how much you struggle with bipolar disorder and why you can’t work will be a key factor in winning disability benefits.

At Penar Law, you don’t have to pay anything to get a free evaluation of your case.

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Get help winning Social Security Disability Benefits

No matter what kind of medical condition you have, you must meet these three requirements to win Social Security disability benefits:

  • Your health problems are expected to last at least a year.
  • Your condition makes it impossible for you to do the kind of work you’ve done before.
  • You also can’t transfer to a new line of work.

Proving all of this can be complicated.

Most people who apply for Social Security disability benefits are denied.

Go easy on yourself by working with an experienced disability attorney like Gary Penar and Eric Penar. They have helped thousands of people win disability benefits.

When you need to talk to a Social Security administrative law judge about your benefits, government studies have shown you are almost three times more likely to be awarded if you have a representative like a lawyer.

If you’re struggling with depressive or manic episodes, now is not the time to take on Social Security’s complex legal system alone.

Get help from Eric Penar. You won’t pay any fee until you win benefits.

Call us to discuss your case.

You Only Have 60 Days!
Once you’re denied benefits, the clock starts ticking. You only have 60 days to appeal. Don’t wait too long to contact a lawyer. You can miss the deadline to appeal.
Local vs. National

Get help locally.  We’re local Social Security lawyers, and only serve Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Learn why that makes a difference.

Read What Our Clients Say About Us


I highly recommend Them if you're in need of a disability lawyer.Eric Penar did a amazing job helping me win my disability case.i cant thank him enough for winning my difficult case.a real professional and great guy.

Loren Clark February 15, 2022

Thumbs up

justin tyme January 31, 2022

I was so glad to have this team in my corner! They treated me with such kindness and made a stressful process manageable. I was well prepared for my hearing and I know I can call with questions in the future as well. I highly recommend this team! Thank you Eric, Nick and Precious especially, for all your expertise, work, and kind professionalism!!! So grateful for the win! A great weight is lifted!

Journey With Jen January 28, 2022

Eric Penar and his staff are amazing! Eric, Nick, Amy, and Precious all worked with me in a very timely and professional manner to get a great outcome for disability benefits. Can't recommend Penar Law enough for their great work!

Dan Steele January 26, 2022

Very good and helpful

Allen Troup October 11, 2021

Amy and Precious go above and beyond the call of duty! They are the most caring ladies! Professional and kind! Went way out of their way to help me with a personal matter even years after my case was won! Yes Gary Penar won my case and then came back and saved my tail again! Nick was my contact person and he was incredibly kind! My story is a dark one and I have SSDI because of PTSD. The staff was very patient with me and worked hard to win my case! Thank You Amy! your Kindness will never be forgotten!!!

Christine Douglas June 24, 2021

The legal team here at Gary Penar law office provided exceptional help getting my husband's Social Security claim complete. From beginning to end they are an amazing office. I will recommend them to friends and family.

Beki H June 21, 2021

Gary Penar Law Offices, especially Nick, were very helpful, knowledgeable, and responsive to my case. I highly recommend them!

Rebecca Hartman June 20, 2021

They were kind and understanding. Made me feel at ease with the whole process.

Deborah Marlow June 17, 2021

Gary and Eric are top-notch attorneys for Social Security Disability and all their assistants are well trained and knowledgeable. This is undeniably one of the best firm's in Spokane. Highly recommend!

Efrem Ocubamichael June 15, 2021