Your question is very broad. You should start by reading this legal guide (see link below). Also, many of the other web links there will be helpful to you. Good luck!
Hire a lawyer! My firm handles these matters on a contigency basis all over the US. That means you do not pay us a retainer fee. We only collect a fee and costs if we win.
Also check out my website for more info attorneys4life.com
Evan in FLA
(866) I-SUE-YOU (478-3968)
In applying for Social Security Disability, you've taken the most important step to secure your right to benefits. If your application is denied, and most initial applications are denied, you have a right to request reconsideration. An attorney can help you with this and the attorney doesn't get paid unless you win.
The attorney can help your doctor document how your bipolar condition affects your ability to work, using the specific language and/or forms that will me most persuasive to the Social Security Administration. While you don't need to use a local lawyer, you may want to meet with the person who will be helping you, and that lawyer will likely know, or know of your doctor, which will make it easier to get the required paperwork.
For most conditions, it isn't enough for your doctor to diagnose your condition. The doctor, and perhaps a vocational counselor, need to document how your specific bipolar condition affects your ability to work. This documentation may include the side-effects of your medication; whether the medication is effectively controlling some of all of your symptoms; whether you are able to attend work and perform effectively at work.
The application and appeal process requires persistence and an attention to detail, which are often hard to maintain if you have a bipolar condition. Please consider hiring a lawyer. Bellingham has many good lawyers who are experienced in Social Security Disability issues and are familiar with the local medical community.
I wish you all the best.