We’re all human. No matter what we do, our emotions can get the best of us. We become sad or angry. We feel badly about ourselves and others. At times, we hate our lives and hate what’s happening. Human emotions make us unique.
However, human emotions can also be disabling. Some emotions are more than temporary. Sometimes, we enter states that are lasting and severe. Depression is one of those states. For many people across the United States, depression can be absolutely debilitating. Depression afflicts many people for a number of reasons.
Although many people may feel depressed, disabling depression is different. In fact, being sad is not the same as being depressed. In order to be diagnosed with depression, a person must demonstrate an actual mental disorder. Symptoms of depression will persist for longer than only several days.
Some people will suffer from a legitimate Disability Due to Depression. In general, a depressed person is unable or unwilling to engage in activities previously enjoyed. Depressed people often show many physical symptoms as well. These include problems with sleep quality, energy, and concentration. A depressed individual may feel constantly tired, weak, and lonely.
Due to these feelings, many depressed persons live unhealthily. These unhealthy lifestyles exacerbate the disabling condition(s) of depression.
Fortunately, depressed individuals can get help. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a governmental agency that offers a variety of benefits for people who are disabled. All across the country, numerous people may qualify for SSA disability benefits.
Can You Get Disability for Depression?
Again, being sad is different from being depressed. There are multiple forms of depression as well. Although many people report feeling depression, many forms of depression do not last more than several days. Generally, so-called depression is not debilitating or disabling.
- However, clinical depression is different. Clinical depression can be absolutely disabling. It is a condition that may even lead to suicide. Lasting months or even years, clinical depression has a number of causes. Some people are simply more prone to depression. Life circumstances and genetic factors affect the likelihood of depression.
- If you or someone you know is suffering from clinical depression, you may be eligible for Disability Benefits for Depression. Of course, proving this depression is not always easy.
- In order to prove clinical depression, a person must receive a medical exam. This comprehensive examination will determine the possible causes of the depression. A doctor will also evaluate a patient’s mental and physical conditions.
- A patient’s personal and family history can significantly impact the likelihood of depression. Drugs and substances may also contribute to depression. Your physician will conduct a comprehensive Disability Check for Depression.
- Your medical professional will also observe your symptoms. These symptoms are both mental and physical. If they are severe and lasting, you may be diagnosed with clinical depression.
- Your doctor should submit a comprehensive report based on your psychiatric medical record. This report must include many aspects of your depression. Firstly, the report should show the length and extent of your depression history. Secondly, the medical report should show the treatments you have tried and used.
- Your doctor should also note how the treatments have worked. Some treatments may be ineffective whereas other treatments may prove extremely effective. The side effects of these treatments are also important. Finally, your doctor should provide numerous examples of depression affecting your life.
- These detailed notes help to show how depression has negatively impacted your daily functioning.
Following your doctor’s determination, the SSA will make its own determination. The SSA will evaluate your medical records to determine if your depression meets their criteria. You will need to satisfy certain requirements to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.
Is Depression A Disability for Social Security?
In short, depression can qualify as a disability under the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines. This disabling condition is listed under Section 12.04 for Affective Disorders.
In fact, depression is treated successfully with many antidepressant medications and therapies. Some people may be able to significantly improve depression through lifestyle changes. These changes include diet and exercise, new environments, and different social support networks.
However, not all forms of depression are easily treated. If you are seeking Social Security for Depression, you must first exhibit four of the following conditions:
- Sleeping problems
- Loss of interest in most activities
- Major changes in diet and weight
- Pervasive feelings of worthlessness
- Suicidal thinking
- Problems with concentration
- Diminished psychomotor function
- Reduced energy and increased fatigue
- Hallucinations, delusions, and/or paranoid thoughts
However, the SSA requires that you meet even further criteria. You will also need to show that you are struggling with normal and daily activities. Again, Getting Disability for Depression is not easy. The SSA will need to determine whether your depression causes any two of the following four issues:
- Severe issues with concentration, persistence, or pacing
- Continued, extensive periods of worsening symptoms
- Severe reduction in activities of daily living (ADLs)
- Severe problems with social functioning
All applicants for Social Security Disability must understand that the process is difficult. The SSA has many nuanced criteria and requirements. Even if you are initially rejected, you may still have a case. A top social security disability lawyer may help in this regard.
Even if you fail to meet the previous SSA criteria for depression disability, you can still qualify. The SSA will even approve benefits for people who have improved by using medication. In these cases, the disability applicant must prove that a return to work will worsen the condition significantly.
Getting Disability Approval for Depression
To qualify under this structure, a social security claimant must meet the following three criteria:
- The depression is a medically determinable condition
- The depression is documented as lasting at least two years
- The depression significantly reduces an ability for basic work activities
In addition to meeting these requirements, an applicant for depression disability benefits must also meet any one of the following conditions:
- Repeated and extended periods of worsening symptoms
- The risk that minor increases in demands will cause worsening symptoms
- An inability to function outside a “highly supportive living arrangement” for at least the previous year
These previous conditions relate to what is called major depressive disorder. This major form of depression is marked by severe and lasting symptoms. Most individuals with this level of depression cannot perform daily functions without assistance.
However, even if a disability applicant does not meet these requirements, the SSA may still approve benefits. In such a case, an applicant must prove a marked inability for work and work activities. If depression symptoms are highly disabling, they may prevent many activities of daily living. There are a number of ways an applicant can receive Social Security for depression.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) will make its determination based on the type of work you can reasonably perform. You may be able to perform skilled work or semi-skilled work. If your depression is highly disabling, you may only be able to perform unskilled work.
Your level of work capacity is considered your residual functional capacity (RFC). The mental problems associated with depression may severely restrict your RFC.
In some cases, an individual may be unable to perform even unskilled work. These disability applicants will likely receive benefits from the SSA. This is called a “medical-vocational allowance.” However, in most cases, disability applicants qualify under the SSA’s Affective Disorders listing.
How to Get Disability for Depression?
Don’t delay. If you are wondering about how to get disability for depression, you are not alone. Depression can be a highly debilitating mental disorder. It can affect not only the life of the sufferer, but the lives of those the individuals knows and loves.
Overall, depression can affect families and friends. It can affect livelihoods and futures. Without the help of treatment, many people with depression are truly disabled. This lasting and severe disabling condition is no joking matter. It is real and it is serious.
Depression affects all aspects of one’s life. It can significantly impair work capacity, while also impacting social and emotional functioning. A person with severe depression will be unable to lead a normal, healthy life without help.
It is also important to consider other conditions associated with depression. When the SSA assigns an RFC based on depression, this is considered a mental RFC. It is a mental RFC because it is based largely on the applicant’s mental impairments.
However, there are also physical RFCs. Applicants who are depressed and suffer physically may have two different RFC levels. Some of these applicants may qualify for social security disability benefits based on these varying RFCs.
To qualify for disability benefits, you must meet all criteria under the Social Security Administration (SSA). If your disabling condition does not meet the criteria under the SSA impairment listing, the SSA will look at your work ability.
Again, the process is complicated. If you or someone you know is applying for benefits, it’s important to act. Don’t risk rejection. Seek a legal representative who fully understands the Social Security Administration (SSA). Consult with the Cape Coral Disability Lawyer you can trust and get the results you deserve.