Behavioral health and psychiatric disability concepts

Related CCMC Definations

1) A physical or neurological deviation in an individual makeup. It may refer to a physical, mental or sensory condition. A disability may or may not be a handicap to an individual, depending on one’s adjustment to it.
2) Diminished function, based on the anatomic, physiological or mental impairment that has reduced the individual’s activity or presumed ability to engage in any substantial gainful activity. 
3) Inability or limitation in performing tasks, activities, and roles in the manner or within the range considered normal for a person of the same age, gender, culture and education. Can also refer to any restriction or lack (resulting from an impairment) of ability to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a human being.

Overview for Case Managers

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits workplace discrimination against individuals with or with a history of psychiatric disabilities not controlled by medication. It does not however, protect criminal diagnoses such as pyromania or kleptomania. 

The definition of disability in the ADA includes people with mental illness who meet one of these three definitions: 

  1. a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of an individual
  2. a record of such an impairment
  3. being regarded as having such an impairment

The ADA defines mental impairment as “any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.” 

The most common mental disorders protected under the ADA are depression, psychological problems, anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome and bipolar disordermanic depression. The ADA provides protection for qualified applicants and employees with drug addiction if they have been successfully rehabilitated. It does not however, protect employees who are currently using drugs or alcohol.