New Study on Mental Disorders is Critical Step for Diagnosis, Treatment, Allsup Reports

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National research points to critical role of medical treatment, also key to Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for those with mental illness, according to Allsup.

New methods for diagnosing, treating and documenting severe mental illness will help develop the medical histories and objective findings individuals need when seeking SSDI benefits.

A new study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) may help medical professionals better diagnose mental illnesses, which is the second-largest category of conditions receiving Social Security Disability Insurance(SSDI), according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of SSDI representation. The research, funded by the NIH, found that five common psychiatric conditions—autism, bipolar disorder, major depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia—share genetic material.

Researchers said the work is the largest-ever genetic study of psychiatric disorders, with genetic material gathered from more than 60,000 individuals worldwide. Published Feb. 28, 2013, the study collected data from individuals with the mental conditions and some without. The findings eventually may help medical professionals diagnose mental illnesses based on these types of genetic markers, rather than on symptoms reported—similar to how a condition such as leukemia can be diagnosed with a blood test.

“Each advance in the diagnosis and treatment of mental illness is critical to individuals and their families, especially for those whose conditions are so severe they must stop working,” said Tai Venuti, Allsup manager of Strategic Alliances.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that fewer than one-third of adults with a diagnosable mental illness will receive treatment in a given year. In addition, one in 17 Americans lives with a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.

“New methods for diagnosing, treating and documenting severe mental illness will help develop the medical histories and objective findings individuals need when seeking SSDI benefits,” Venuti added. Those who can no longer work due to a mental disorder may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance, which is a federally mandated insurance program funded by FICA payroll taxes. The Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the program.

A qualified representative such as Allsup can help those with mental illness navigate the complex SSDI process, Venuti explained. “Allsup disability claims experts know what the SSA requires when reviewing claims for mental impairments and advocate for individuals applying for benefits or appealing a disability denial,” she said.

SSDI operates separately from the retirement and Supplemental Security Income programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a severe disability expected to last for more than 12 months or is terminal. Find more about SSDI eligibility on

The process can be daunting for any individual, Venuti added. “Those with a mental disorder may have increased difficulties meeting deadlines or concentrating on the multiple forms required for an SSDI claim,” she said. “Allsup representatives can serve as their advocate and will persist in pursuing the claim through the complexities and duration of the process.”

For more information about eligibility for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, contact Allsup’s Disability Evaluation Center at (800) 678-3276.

About Allsup
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs more than 800 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to or visit Allsup on Facebook at

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Rebecca Ray
(800) 854-1418 65065
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Tai Venuti
(800) 854-1418 68573
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