How can depression qualify you for social security disability?

Disability Benefits For Depression

If someone cannot secure employment due to a medical condition, they may be eligible for benefits. In 2020, approximately 13% of individuals received benefits, with 5% dealing with depression.

Can You Get Disability Benefits for Depression?

Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for depression under certain circumstances. Securing disability benefits through a depression diagnosis can prove to be a challenging and intricate process.

  • The Social Security Administration (SSA) assesses each disability claim for depression on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the severity of the condition and the resulting limitations on daily functioning. To qualify for depression disability benefits, you would typically need to provide evidence of the following:
  • Severe Depression Disability Symptoms: For symptoms to be classified as depression, they must significantly impact your ability to perform daily activities and fulfill essential job responsibilities.
  • Functional Limitations: This includes difficulties with concentration, memory, regular attendance, following instructions, and interacting with others. The limitations should be severe enough to prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

What is Depression?

Depression is a common mental health disorder characterized by persistent sadness, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, and a range of physical and cognitive symptoms. It affects a person’s thoughts, feelings, and functions, often resulting in significant distress and impaired daily functioning.

Is Depression A Disability?

Yes, depression can be considered a disability if it significantly impacts an individual’s ability to function at work, education, and social interactions. Depression is recognized as a mental health condition that can cause significant impairments in a person’s cognitive, emotional, and social functioning.

To qualify for disability benefits based on depression, the individual generally needs to provide comprehensive medical records, including documentation of a formal diagnosis from an acceptable medical source, treatment history, the chronicity and severity of the condition, and the functional limitations experienced that must last for at least 12 months or more. 

Clinical depression can cause other disorders, such as anxiety and social phobia

What are the Symptoms of Depression?

Depression is a mental health condition that can manifest in various symptoms. Not everyone with depression will experience the same symptoms, and the severity and duration of symptoms can vary. Common symptoms of depression may include:

  • Persistent Sadness: Feeling sad, empty, or hopeless most of the day, nearly every day.
  • Loss of Interest: Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities or hobbies, including a diminished ability to experience pleasure.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Insomnia or excessive sleepiness, often accompanied by changes in sleep patterns such as waking up early or difficulty falling asleep.
  • Fatigue and Low Energy: Feeling constantly tired, lacking energy, and experiencing decreased motivation to engage in daily activities.
  • Difficulty Concentrating: Trouble focusing, making decisions, or experiencing cognitive difficulties, such as memory problems or reduced mental sharpness.
  • Feelings of Guilt: Persistent feelings of guilt, self-blame, or worthlessness, often accompanied by negative and self-critical thoughts.

Does depression follow a manic episode?

Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder that involves episodes of both depression and mania. After a manic episode, it’s possible to experience depression. There are various subtypes of bipolar disorder, such as bipolar I disorder, bipolar II disorder, and cyclothymic disorder.

Questions to ask yourself before applying for depression

Before applying for disability benefits for depression, it can be helpful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • How does depression impact my daily life?
  • Have I exhausted other treatment options? 
  • How long have I been experiencing symptoms? 
  • Can I meet the criteria for disability?
  • Do I have sufficient medical evidence?
  • How does depression affect my ability to work? 
  • Should I seek legal assistance?

I meet the criteria for depression. Now what?

To apply for disability benefits based on depression, you need to follow these general steps:

  • Understand the Eligibility Criteria: The criteria include having a medically determinable impairment supported by appropriate medical evidence.
  • Seek Medical Treatment: Regular visits to mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists or psychologists, help establish a consistent treatment history and provide crucial medical evidence for your disability claim.
  • Document Medical Evidence: Gather extensive medical evidence that supports your diagnosis and demonstrates the impact of depression on your daily life and ability to work. 
  • Complete the Application: Fill out the necessary disability benefit application forms provided by the SSA. For depression, you would typically complete the Adult Disability Report.

What Are the Different Methods to Apply for Depression Disability Benefits

If you’re seeking depression disability benefits, there are multiple methods to apply. Choose the option that is most convenient for you:

  • Online Application: The Social Security Administration provides an online application process through its official website. You can complete the necessary forms and submit them electronically. 
  • Phone Application: If you prefer to apply over the phone or need assistance with the application process, call the SSA’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). A representative can guide you through the application and record your information.
  • In-Person Application: You can schedule an appointment to apply in person at your local Social Security office. Individuals may prefer this option to ensure that all your documentation is submitted correctly and if you have specific questions or concerns.

Can you get disability benefits for depression through the VA?

Yes, it is possible to receive disability benefits for depression through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA provides disability compensation for veterans with service-connected mental health conditions, including depression. 

In order for a veteran to receive VA disability benefits for depression, they need to provide medical evidence and documentation that connects their condition to their military service. The SSA will also take into account the severity of the depression and how it affects the veteran’s ability to work and function when determining the level of disability compensation.

How much is a disability check for depression?

Depression disability checks typically average around $1,131.37. If you qualify for SSDI benefits, the maximum monthly payment is $3,627, while SSI benefits pay out $914 as of 2023. 

Disability Benefits Denied? Contact Rod Deus Attorney

Just because the SSA denied your depression disability benefits does not necessarily mean you are ineligible. Consider seeking guidance from a skilled Baton Rouge Social Security Disability Lawyer who can confidently help you navigate the appeals process.

They will help you understand the reasons behind the denial, gather additional evidence, and present a strong case on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation or call 504-588-9123 if you have more questions about depression disability claims.

Share this post: