How To Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits With Depression?
If you have been experiencing fatigue accompanied by despair and anxiety that prevent you from accomplishing normal activities and interfere with work, you may be suffering from depression. It can be a disabling condition that afflicts more than 17 million people in the United States, but it is a highly treatable condition once you obtain a proper diagnosis and prescribed treatment plan from a physician or mental health professional.
The disability advocates and lawyers at London Disability want you to know that financial assistance is available for someone with a disability with depression. The Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs of the Social Security Administration pay monthly benefits and offer coverage for medical expenses.
The following information gives you a better understanding of depression and how to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Read through the information, and then contact an SSD lawyer for more information and a free evaluation of your claim for SSD for depression.
How To Determine Whether You Suffer From Depression?
It can be difficult to determine whether you suffer from depression without an evaluation and diagnosis by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional. Some of the symptoms of depression include the following:
- Fatigue and loss of energy.
- Unexplained change in appetite causing weight gain or loss.
- Sleeping more than usual or difficulty sleeping.
- Unexplained thoughts of death or suicide.
- Feeling sad or having feelings of worthlessness.
- Loss of interest in activities or social contacts that you previously enjoyed.
- Lack of motivation.
- Unwarranted feelings of guilt.
The symptoms of depression and their severity affect everyone differently, so a person with depression may experience all of the symptoms while another person may only exhibit one or two of them. The only way to determine whether you have depression is with a diagnosis by a trained mental health professional who can prescribe treatment to manage the symptoms. Prescription medications and psychotherapy are among the treatment options that may be recommended to control symptoms.
How Do You Qualify For SSD With Depression?
If depression prevents you from working, disability benefits are available through SSDI and SSI. When you submit an application for benefits, you must first meet the nonmedical requirements of each program before your disability is evaluated by Social Security.
To qualify for benefits through the SSDI program, you must have a history of paying Social Security taxes on earnings from jobs or through self-employment of a sufficiently long duration to meet the eligibility requirements. As a general rule, the older a person is at the onset of a disabling medical condition, the longer the work history required to qualify for benefits.
The SSI program differs from SSDI by not having a work-history requirement. Instead, it imposes income and resource limits. The total value of assets or resources available to applicants cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for married couples when both spouses qualify for SSI.
Because Social Security only counts certain types of income toward the monthly income limit and offers exclusions of a portion of some of the income, determining whether you meet the income limit requires a knowledge of federal regulations governing the program. An SSI lawyer at London Disability can review your claim and determine whether you meet the nonmedical criteria to qualify for SSD with depression.
If your application shows that you meet the nonmedical requirements for SSDI or SSI, Social Security looks at your medical records to determine whether your condition equals or matches a listed impairment. Social Security maintains a listing of impairments, which is commonly referred to as the “Blue Book.” A listed impairment is considered as severe enough to cause a disability that qualifies for SSI or SSDI.
The medical evidence must prove that a person seeking SSD for depression has at least five of the following symptoms:
- Lacks interest in most activities.
- Experiences a depressed mood.
- Appetite disturbance causing weight changes.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
- Lack of energy.
- Difficulty with concentration and thinking.
- Slowed speech and movements.
The medical records also must demonstrate that you show a marked limitation in at least two of the following areas:
- Timely completion of assigned tasks.
- Comprehend and follow instructions.
- Use good judgment in decision making.
- Interact and socialize with other people.
- Personal skills, including dressing, personal hygiene, shopping and preparing meals.
An extreme limitation in only one of these areas is sufficient to meet the requirement, but even then, some people diagnosed with depression may not meet them. There is, however, another option available to them.
If you do not meet the requirements to match or equal a listed impairment, you may still qualify for benefits provided your application demonstrates that depression prevents you from performing a type of work that you did in the past. If it does, Social Security looks to determine whether depression also prevents you from performing any other type of work.
How Can An SSD Lawyer Help?
An SSD lawyer or disability advocate knows through training and experience the importance of medical records, including evaluations and statements from physicians and mental health professionals, to establish that you qualify for SSD with depression. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and claim evaluation.