Posted by David F. Chermol on 03/03/2021

How to Get Disability Benefits for Depression?

How to Get Disability Benefits for Depression?

Many people in this generation suffer from severe depression. School, college, the office, or even home can become a battleground to remain positive and actively fight against feelings of depression. If you are reading this blog, you may be a fighter too.

Depression can affect your daily life by demotivating you and causing you to be unhappy, inactive and to be very emotionally imbalanced. You may begin to neglect taking care of daily tasks, your work assignments, exercise and the relationships that you have with people. Depression may detrimentally affect your social life and medicine may not make your situation any better. Having this condition is a very unpleasant experience, so you should be delighted to know that the Social Security Administration considers providing disability benefits to people with severe depression to help them overcome it.

First, you have to determine whether you qualify for these benefits. When your depression is severe, you may be unable to perform simple daily tasks, or keep up with your routines at work, so try your best to document the extent of your depression and how it affects on your ability to work and carry out daily tasks.  Ensure that your condition is well documented by a mental health professional. With the right amount of evidence and severe enough symptoms, the SSA may allow you to receive disability benefits. Additionally, your condition has to last persistently for a minimum of 12 months. Disability lawyers may help you to qualify for disability benefits.

How to Qualify For Disability Benefits for Depression?

In the Blue Book, the Social Security Administration’s 12.04 listing is for depressive disorders. Your condition has to be severe enough to meet the criteria in the listing in order to obtain disability benefits for depression.

If your condition does not meet the listing requirements, it may be  a little more challenging for you to get the benefits. With the help of a Social Security lawyer, you can still prove that your conditions are interfering with your daily life to the extent that may entitle you to benefits. When you can verify and prove that your depression substantially impairs your ability to function in your daily activities and disrupts  your ability to work and severely limits the types of jobs available to you the SSA, may still approve your application.

To qualify for the listing, you have to show that your medical condition causes your impairments and that you are suffering from any of five following conditions:

  • You have a depressive mood.
  • Your energy is decreased.
  • You cannot think or concentrate properly.
  • You have lost interest in most of the activities.
  • Your physical movements are slowing down, or your physical agitation has increased.
  • You have lost or gained appetite, which is affecting your weight.
  • You cannot sleep properly. You may have insomnia or sleep apnea.
  • You have feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
  • You are having suicidal thoughts.

Additionally, you have to show that you have trouble in the following areas:

  • You are unable to understand and remember instructions, so you cannot learn new things.
  • Appropriate interaction with others is getting difficult for you.
  • You cannot concentrate and persist in completing tasks.
  • You cannot enable yourself to do routine tasks such as cook, shop, practice good hygiene, work and pay bills on time.

What Medical Evidence is Required to Prove the Need for Disability Benefits For Depression? 

You need to provide your psychiatric medical records, history of depression and a comprehensive psychiatric report by your mental health professional. The SSA will note if your psychiatric record shows your attempted treatments such as medication and therapy sessions. The documents should also include the effectiveness of and side-effects that you may have had from your treatments.

Your mental health professional or psychiatrist must also include some examples stating how your depression affects your daily affairs. This should  demonstrate how you are unable to execute everyday tasks and cannot effectively perform while you are working at a job.

What if You Don't Meet the Listing Requirements? 

Your condition may be persistent, but you may need to meet the listing requirements. Suppose that with medications and therapy sessions, your condition has improved. This doesn't mean, however, that you are ready to go back to work. Based on this situation, you may alternatively qualify for the disability benefits for depression.

To qualify in this circumstance, you have to show medical documentation of your condition for a minimum of two years. You also need to have a minimum capability to adapt to environmental changes or increasing mental demands.

How Can You Qualify For Disability Based on Reduced Functional Capacity?

 When you don't meet the listing of depressive impairments, the SSA takes note of the severity of your symptoms. It is observed how much your symptoms affect your daily life. They also see if there is an alternative job based on your living situation

The SSA observes your mental residual functional capacity (RFC) by giving you a rating based on your ability to carry out any of the following tasks, as they think you may capable of doing:

  • Skilled work,
  • Semi-skilled works, or
  • Unskilled work.

If you can do even unskilled work, you may not qualify for depression-based disability benefits. Suppose, however, that your condition is severe enough to disrupt your daily functions, or you have marked limitations to sustain daily, routine activities. In that case, you may get a medical-vocational allowance by the SSA.

It is tough to qualify under this specific category. The situation can change for you if you have any physical impairment combined  with depression. With both mental and physical RFC for sedentary work, your job limitations will expand, and you may get a medical-vocational allowance.

Even so, it can be tricky, however, to qualify under this category as well. A Social Security Disability Lawyer from Chermol & Fishman, LLC can help you in such circumstances by evaluating  your case, providing you the legal advice that you need, filing your application and representing you in court. We will submit your disability benefits claim on your behalf and present the strongest case for you based on  your depression. Call us today. You rely on our experienced attorneys. To know more, and schedule an appointment with a professional, click here.

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