I'm on SSI, but that is due to my Crohns Disease, Fibromyalgia & Arthritis. I am not sure how it works for Mental Illness.
I heard that many get denied the first time so I got a lawyer from the get go. I heard it was a long and tedious project and I wanted to cross all my T's the first time so I found a SSI lawyer that specialized in my area of concern for my own health issues.
I had all my doctors backing me up (since they were the ones that encouraged me to stop working to stay healthier). All of them needed to sign lots of paperwork and attached all the necessary medical files to back up their claims.
You will have lots of paperwork to fill out as well, so be prepared and keep copies of everything.
The whole process from start to finish took me approx. 6 months and I did not get denied. If approved they will make your check retroactive from the day that you applied.
Best of Luck.
I too just had a ssi hearing on the 20th of July. I was actually filing disability b/c of lupus and my broken neck from a recent car accident that took place on July 10. The phone interview took about an hour to an hour and a half. They just now sent me my medical release papers. I am going to call my case worker b/c as of yesterday the 22 of July I was diagnosised with Bipolar Disorder as well. My case worker said four months but did say the first check will go back to the date I was disabled which was April 10, 2009. As stated make sure you keep copies of everything or if you move or something else comes up to call your case worker immediately. I don't think age matters, I am 34 and my case worker believes I will not have any problems getting SSI or Disablity, it just may take a few attempts to actually receive it. I just hope it is enough to live off of b/c it is only me. Good luck to you and I hope this helped a little.
Just some more info for you. I too was young when I was approved. I don't think age matters, only your disability.
You will also get a separate check for every minor child until the age of 18 years.
Again as stated by someone else, you can start the paperwork by going to the ssi.gov website and read all about it there and probably download all the necessary paperwork from there.
I do remember meeting with someone at the SSI office to start everything rolling plus a phone interview at some time as well.
They asked about my husband's income, to see if I qualified for financial aid to help out as well but I told them that I wasn't in need of that, and was only hoping to collect near what I was receiving from not working. We were living on two incomes and I was just hoping to contribute back to my household what I was losing by not working so I didn't even go into my husband's financial income. So I think if your husband does not make enough or not working there is also more help out there for you.
Oh another thing. If you are able, you are allowed to work some hours and receive a certain amont of money but there are stipulations as to how much.
Best wishes for wellness.