When you suffer from a major depressive disorder, it can make it difficult to get and keep a job. Making ends meet may be difficult or impossible. If you cannot work because of your symptoms, you may be eligible for Social Security disability for dysthymia in Pittsburgh. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The team from Berger and Green has helped the people of Pittsburgh pursue the compensation they need since 1983. We can help you understand your options, file your claim, or fight a denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started with a free case review.
Getting Disability for Dysthymia Based on an Impairment Listing
The Social Security Administration publishes a listing of impairments and the criteria you must meet to get benefits. This is known as the Blue Book. The agency evaluates dysthymia symptoms under Section 12.04 – Depressive, Bipolar and Related Disorders.
To get benefits based on your dysthymia diagnosis, your medical records must contain evidence proving you suffer from the depressive disorder. This includes having five or more of these major symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Little interest in most activities
- Appetite changes significant enough to impact body weight
- Sleep disturbances
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Thoughts of death or suicide
In addition, you must also have medical evidence to show you have “extreme limitation” of one or “marked limitation” of more than one area of functioning necessary for daily life, including:
- Understanding, remembering, and applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing yourself
You could also qualify by demonstrating five or more of the major symptoms and suffering from a “serious and persistent” disorder for more than two years, despite continued treatment. You must also prove that you struggle to adapt to changes in environment and routine.
The team from Berger and Green can help you prepare your paperwork and file your claim. As a part of this process, we will work with you to ensure you have all the necessary contact information for your care providers and include this information on your claim. This is the best way to ensure the Office of Disability Determination Services has access to the medical evidence they need to approve you for disability.
Getting Benefits Without Meeting an Impairment Listing
If you do not qualify for Social Security Disability based on an impairment listing, but you still cannot work your Pittsburgh job, you may be able to get disability benefits based on your residual functional capacity (RFC). An RFC is an evaluation of what you are still able to accomplish despite the symptoms of your condition.
Your RFC considers:
- The types of jobs you can work
- How often you can work
- How long you can work
- Your qualifications and the types of jobs you may be able to get
If your RFC assessment finds that you cannot work any job you might qualify for — or that you require accommodations to work a job and earn a living — you will likely qualify for disability benefits.
There are three ways the Office of Disability Determination Services can evaluate your RFC. These include:
- A doctor from the agency assesses your abilities based on your medical records.
- Your doctor assesses your abilities based on their knowledge of your case.
- The Social Security Administration asks you to attend a consultative examination to assess your abilities.
Avoiding Technical Denials
In addition to meeting the strict medical qualifications to get Social Security Disability benefits, you also need to meet a number of technical qualifications. Your local Social Security field office will check to ensure you meet these qualifications before they forward your claim and paperwork to the Office of Disability Determination Services. If they find you do not meet one or more technical qualifications, you will receive a technical denial.
Some of the key technical qualifications include:
- Having an earned income under the current substantial gainful activity limit for SSDI
- Having enough work credits for SSDI.
- Having recent enough work credits for SSDI.
- Having a household income below the current limit for SSI.
- Having assets less than the current limits for SSI.
A technical denial can derail your application and cause you significant stress. When we handle a Social Security Disability application, we double-check the paperwork to ensure everything is in order. This can help reduce your chances of a technical denial. Call us today at 412-661-1400 to get started.
Berger and Green Can Fight Your Disability Denial
If the Social Security Administration has already denied your initial claim for benefits, Berger and Green can help. Reach out to us as soon as possible after you get a denial notice so we can take action before time runs out.
When our team helps you navigate the appeals process, you can count on us to:
- Request your appeals hearing, if there is time remaining to do so.
- Get to the bottom of why they denied your claim.
- Collect evidence and build a robust case on your behalf.
- Answer your questions and address your concerns about the process.
- Represent you before the Administrative Law Judge who oversees your appeal.
- Fight for the monthly benefits, retroactive pay, and back pay you deserve.
We will also review any other impairments you may have. In some cases, we may be able to pursue compensation for you if you suffered injuries in a personal injury accident and this adds to your physical, emotional, and financial stress. Attorney Laurence B. Green has more than 40 years of experience pursuing compensation in these cases. We are ready to evaluate your case and take legal action on your behalf.
Getting Social Security Disability for Dysthymia in Pittsburgh, PA
If you cannot work because of your dysthymia symptoms, the team from Berger and Green is here to help. We can explain your options, file your claim, or fight a denial. We know what the Social Security Administration is looking for when they evaluate your case.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 to discuss your case with a member of our team.