If you have a question in your mind about whether can you get disability for depression, then you must check out today’s article as it covers all the related issues considered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and how you can increase your chances of getting approved for disability benefits.
Depression And Its Symptoms
Depression– a psychiatric disability and mental health disorder, is one of the most common disorders worldwide. It can be of several types: clinical depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and postnatal depression.
A depressed person will suffer from a gloomy mood with feelings of inadequacy. Other than this, several other symptoms characterize depression, such as feelings of fatigue, loss of interest and ability in all the things, even the ones that were once their favorites and in which they once found immense pleasure and joy.
When a person suffers from depression, their sleep routine is destroyed, their appetite is lost, and everything seems bleak, no matter how much motivation and inspiration are provided. The mental disorder can be so disruptive to a person’s life that it interferes with everyday life and affects their daily activities.
All the symptoms that characterize depression can be either chronic or cyclical. Severe depression, which is named clinical depression, can even lead to the contemplation of suicide. The other types, most of them are situational and alleviate after a very short period of time. Still, when it comes to clinical depression, the negative emotions become excessively overwhelming and last for quite a long period of time.
Depression can occur at any point in a person’s life but is most commonly found in people between 15 to 42.
Your doctor will diagnose you with clinical depression if you have some or all of the following symptoms for at least two weeks and longer with consistency:
- Persistent sadness
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Loss of interest in all activities
- Feelings of hopelessness and emptiness
- Irritability and anxiety
- Change in appetite
- Change in weight
- Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Suicidal thoughts
- Low self-esteem
While depression can be cured with anti-depressive medication, treatments, support, therapies, and other ways, the severe ones make it hard for a person to snap out of it.
When it becomes grueling for you to go to work because of depression, then you wonder can you get disability for depression.
Can You Get Disability For Depression?
Depression is not a matter to be left unchecked as sometimes it can get highly severe. It can become so severe that it will decrease your ability to work and do any job, even if you have taken medication or opted for treatments and therapies.
But can you get disability for depression? If your depression is treatment-resistant, it has become a hindrance between you and your job, and you cannot do any work. People suffering from depression always try to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits. You may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits like financial assistance and health insurance.
To qualify for and receive disability benefits, a person needs to meet certain disability criteria. Other than this, the history of depression of the person should be well documented by the person’s treating doctor- the medical record should include all the treatments that were attempted, their pros and cons, and also it should show that the disorder has affected the ability of the person to function properly and manage daily tasks and that they are also unable to work properly. After meeting all the requirements, only then can you get disability for depression.
Although a doctor would diagnose a person with depression that has lasted for at least two weeks, the person must be diagnosed with depression that has lasted or is expected to last for at least a year under the requirements laid by SSA. The person does not need to be continuously depressed, but the symptoms must show up frequently to qualify as a disability.
In addition to reviewing a person’s medical records, SSA will also carefully check if the person has been prescribed any medications. If the person’s doctor didn’t prescribe any medication, then SSA will consider the person’s symptoms and conditions a mere one, and then they may not qualify for benefits.
Qualifying for Disability Benefits Based On Listing For Depression By SSA
If you are still wondering if you can get disability for depression, you need to qualify for certain criteria.
As a disorder, depression is listed in the Social Security Administration’s impairment listing in which there is a set of symptoms and a list of functional problems. SSA accepts treatment notes from your doctor or mental status evaluations for consideration, and you will be eligible for disability benefits based on depression. The Social Security Administration(SSA) will grant you benefits if you show at least five of the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Change in body weight due to poor appetite or overeating
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Decreased interest in almost all activities
- Decreased energy
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Thoughts of death or suicide
- A slowing of physical movement and reactions or increased physical agitation
Other than having at least five of the symptoms, SSA checks your functional criteria if you want to show that you have a loss of abilities due to a mental disorder. You will be granted disability benefits based on depression if you have marked or severe limitations in at least two of the following areas:
- Ability to understand, remember, or apply various things and instructions
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating and persisting in performing tasks
- Managing oneself.
If your symptoms and marked limitations meet the listing for depression by SSA, only then can you get disability for depression. You will be awarded with complete disability benefits or with a medical-vocational allowance. Disability benefits are awarded to most people in the form of a medical-vocational allowance.
If the severity of your depression has toned down and your conditions have improved because of treatment or therapy, you don’t have the loss of abilities. However, your recovery is negligible; you still might be eligible under an alternative.
You must have your depression history (lasting for at least two years) medically documented to qualify under it. Also, your medical records must state that you have limited ability to work, and your symptoms have worsened with time with increased mental demands.
Alternative Way To Qualify for Disability for Depression
As mentioned above, if you aren’t showing any severe symptoms and currently do not have the functional limitations but want to qualify for disability benefits and are still in doubt that about whether can you get disability for depression, you might be eligible for an alternative set of functional criteria by SSA.
Your symptoms may have been diminished, and your depressed mood decreased eventually because of ongoing medical treatment, mental health therapy, or psychosocial support. Still, if your medical records show that your depression has been grievous and persistent over a period of at least two years and that you are still unable to work and adapt to your daily life, then you may qualify for benefits for disability.
SSA will first check if you can perform any unskilled work. If yes, you won’t qualify for benefits. If SSA finds that you cannot perform unskilled work, you might benefit from a medical-vocational allowance.
How Can You Get Disability For Depression- Apply For Social Security Disability Benefits
Now the question is that how can you get disability for depression? If you successfully have met the criteria mentioned above, you may qualify for disability benefits for depression. You may start by filling your whole claim at your local SSA office, or you can look it up online on Social Security’s website. Social Security’s website may help you in filing your claim more quickly.
Securing Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) is quite a long process, and it can take up to a year to get your application approved for disability benefits for depression.
When applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, taking help from a medical professional and hiring a qualified Social Security disability attorney, SSDI expert, or a disability lawyer to present your documents at the court when needed will raise the chances of you getting your depression disability claim to be approved. Only when your documents and claims are true and to the point can you get disability for depression approved by SSA.
Many of the applications for disability benefits are denied by SSA due to notes in a person’s medical treatment records that state that their depression has improved. Therefore, a person needs to take care of it and present medical records with a complete history of depression with all the treatments taken. Presenting medical records with the help of a lawyer always turns out fruitful, so a person can also consider that option.
Concluding today’s article on can you get disability for depression, it must answer all your queries on ‘can you get disability for depression.’ For more detailed information, Social Security’s website may be checked by you for referral service.
After submitting your claim for benefits, you might have to wait for quite a long period of time to get approved for social security disability insurance (SSDI) or supplemental security income (SSI). Still, it is worth the wait if you or any person you know are really in need of the benefits. Help from any medical professional and hiring a lawyer or attorney for the court work is highly recommended if you want to make things work. As long as you are unable to work, till then you can get disability for depression.
Above all, one must not stop preferring better mental health. If you are the one or know someone who is suffering from any mental health problem, consult a doctor today and take immediate action because nothing in this world matters more than good physical and mental health.
Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.