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Report: 80 percent of people with mental health issues unemployed

We have often explored the challenges that people with a mental illness or disability face when it comes to securing benefits from programs like Social Security disability and Supplemental Security Income. These are crucial resources for people who are unable to work due to a qualifying mental condition or disorder. 

It is not just the financial support that people are having trouble accessing. Many people who suffer from mental illness do, in fact, want to work and probably could work. The problem, however, is that they are not getting the help they need when it comes to finding suitable employment. This is according to a recent report that shines a light on yet another obstacle that people with mental illness can face.

There are a number of mental illnesses that can dramatically impact a person's ability to work or find work without support. Everything from bipolar disorder to schizophrenia to depression or autism can make it very difficult for a person to work in certain capacities. However, since the recession, many programs that served these people and helped them find jobs have closed down.

This has left a significant population of people without jobs and without the tools needed to find jobs. In fact, a report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness states that more than 80 percent of people who receive public services for mental health issues were unemployed in 2012. Unfortunately, 60 percent may be able to work in certain jobs but employment services have dwindled so significantly that the people who benefitted from them the most are left on their own.

Until and unless these programs are re-energized, there will be a huge number of people who need to rely on other sources of support. In many cases, this can include SSDI and SSI programs that provide financial support to people who are unable to work due to mental illness.

Unlike employment services, legal support for accessing these benefits is available to people all across Atlanta. People who have questions or concerns about applying for benefits or appealing a denied claim can speak with an attorney familiar with the complicated systems and work toward a successful resolution.

Source: Medscape, "Adults With Serious Mental Illnesses Face 80% Unemployment, Report Says," Jenny Gold, July 11, 2014

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