Yes, depression can qualify for Social Security Disability. However, you must show that your depression is so severe, chronic, and long-lasting that you will be unable to work for at least a year. Fortunately for many with depression, medications are a good alternative and often provide people with relief from their symptoms after a relatively short period of time. If that’s the case, you might not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits.
There are other people for whom the medication does not work well or stops working after a short period of time or the depression does not seem to improve. You may have a valid claim for Social Security Disability benefits. You would have to show that your symptoms are so severe that you will be unable to work for at least 12 months in order to qualify.
How to Prove You Need Social Security Benefits for Your Depression
Everyone who suffers from depression experiences different symptoms at various levels of severity. It is not enough for you to claim that you deal with such a debilitating disorder. The Social Security Administration Blue Book requires you to provide medical documentation that you suffer from at least five of the following symptoms:
- Depressive mood
- Trouble sleeping
- Low energy levels
- Suicidal thoughts
- Loss of interest in most activities
- Change in appetite that is apparent in your loss or gain of weight
- Slowed motor skills
- Decreased focus and thinking
In addition, you are required to meet one of the two following criteria:
- You are extremely limited in at least two of these areas: comprehending and applying information, interacting with other people, adapting to a new environment, and/or keeping attention.
- Medical documentation shows that your depression is “serious and persistent,” and you have been undergoing treatment for at least two years. You also have a hard time getting into a new routine and adapting.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) mandates all who are applying for benefits to have their doctor or psychologist fill out the Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) form. This document is to provide more details about your condition and limitations.
For a free legal consultation, call 412-661-1400
Deciding what Kind of Social Security Benefits You Qualify to Receive
If you have depression, you may qualify for one or both types of Social Security Disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Keep in mind that you do not fill out the same application for each.
SSDI is based on work credits. Therefore, you must fulfill the following requirements imposed by the SSA to obtain these benefits:
- You must have at least 20 work credits.
- Your depression meets the criteria explained in the Blue Book.
- You haven’t been able to work for at least a year.
- When looking at your depression and other factors (e.g., your age), you cannot get another job.
As for SSI, these benefits are for those who have limited income and resources
How a Social Security Disability Lawyer with Our Firm Can Help You
Now is the time to focus on your health more than ever. Let our lawyers manage your case while you get treatment and spend time with your loved ones.
- Advise you on your options
- Determine which benefits you qualify for
- Go over the claims process with you
- Review your claim before you submit it
- Help you file an appeal if your initial claim was denied
- Request a hearing for reconsideration
- Represent you in front of Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and/or Federal Court
- Assist you with meeting deadlines
If you’re worried about the price of retaining our services after reading what we can do for you, don’t be. Our law firm operates on a contingency-fee basis, meaning we don’t collect an upfront or hourly fee from you. Instead, our payment comes out of your financial award. That way, there is no imposed financial risk when you work with us.
We Have 40 Years of Experience Working for Clients Like You
Our Social Security Disability lawyers will work to get you the benefits you need to navigate the difficulties that your condition imposes on you and your family. When clients in a situation similar to yours have come to us, they have been happy with the turnout.
They have noted:
“.. The more impressive part of it was the day of my Administrative Law Judge hearing the attorney who took my case. I was just so impressed by the amount of knowledge [my attorney] knew about my case and about me, it was just overwhelming how much work she put into it.” – John
“And I’m so thankful for that, it’s like I can’t say enough, they really stepped in and made things happen for me. If you are in a situation where you are unsure of your future… they can step in and make things happen for you.” – Terry
Our team is ready to listen to your story and see how we can help you.
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Connect with Berger and Green Today for a Free Consultation
If you are concerned about qualifying for Social Security Disability for depression, our team can shed some light and represent you throughout the process.
Call us today at (412) 661-1400.