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A Practitioner's Guide to Social Security Disability Tests for Mental Illness

(693 reviews)

Produced on January 12, 2018

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$ 89 Disability & Social Security Law In Stock
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Course Information

Time 90 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

Proving mental illness in Social Security disability cases is not just about the severity of symptoms. You must also show significant work-related functional limitations in order to win adult cases. The rules for meeting the mental illness criteria changed in January 2017. Periods of decompensation is no longer one of the main deciding factors and managing and adapting oneself is now its own category.

This course, taught by veteran Social Security advocacy practitioner Sarah Dubinsky, will explain the new framework, give examples of work-related functional limitations, explain the role of medical and non-medical sources in meeting the A and B criteria, and give tips on overcoming substance abuse and failure to follow prescribed treatment.

Learning Objectives

  1. Review the tests for mental illness in the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs

  2. Identify sources of evidence that can build a powerful case

  3. Minimize pitfalls, such as gaps in treatment history, substance abuse, and malingering

  4. Increase retroactive benefits and fees through reopenings and Childhood Disability Beneficiary cases

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Sarah Dubinsky

Sarah Dubinsky, Esq.

Sarah Dubinsky is a New Jersey Social Security Disability attorney. She has advised and represented hundreds of individual on disability matters.

Sarah was the staff attorney for NOSSCR (National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives), where she advised over 4,000 attorneys and legal representatives across the country on how to pursue their cases. Sarah was also an attorney-advisor for the Social Security Administration at the Appeals Council and a staff attorney at Legal Services of New Jersey.

Sarah graduated from Rutgers School of Law and Smith College. She is a board member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Middlesex County ad volunteers with various organizations. Sarah has taught continuing education courses for lawyers and social workers on public entitlements. She is a trainer for the Mental Health Association of New Jersey.


Anna K.

Probably the best CLE I've watched yet

gina m.

Excellent presentation. Subtly humorous, and super knowledgeable and generous. Love her.

Robin M.

very good! kept my attention and i learned alot!

Linda K.

A lot of very helpful information

Alicia R.

Very informative

Wayne R.

Helpful information for a disability case I will be handling

Rebecca R.

Super well done course. Very helpful.

Kathryn B.

0ne of best presentation I've listened to very helpful

Melvin P.

She had a good sense of humor ("if my client every comes back I have a client!" ha) and I appreciated her practical advice based on past cases.

Alison B.

She was engaging & fun to listen to!

rosemarie p.

Excellent speaker and informative

Kirk L.


Phil P.

Solid program. A real substantive program that didn't overwhelm.

Dominick L.

Very helpful


best course so far this cycle!

tanina r.


David W.

Sarah is very knowledgeable and helpful. Great presentation.

sosi v.

Presenter was clear and did a good job explaining the procedure for cases.

Nancy P.

Very informative and thorough

Natasha K.

very educational

Skye J.

Good presenter - lots of information

Gregory W.

Made a very complex area much easier to understand, excellent presentation

Leslie W.

great overview

Kamaria Yaminah D.

She needs to teach more SSDI/SSI lectures for us practitioners, she was really good.

Beth S.

Very useful overview of a technical area of law

Adaline K.

Really interesting and informative discussion. Thank you.

Vera M.

Very informative!

Gerald G.

This was an excellent and very well informed presentation. This lecturer is clearly an expert in this field. The Lecture was very helpful.

Lisa F.

Great presenter - very knowledgeable about the topic of mental illness and disability.

Shaun E.

Speaker was very knowledgable and informative

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