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Can You Get Social Security For Depression

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Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits For Depression And Anxiety

Can I receive Social Security Disability Benefits for Depression?

If you suffer from depression or anxiety, you know just how debilitating these conditions can be. Youre not alonemillions of Americans suffer from these psychological disorders. And while individuals with milder cases may have their capacity to work largely unaffected, severe cases of depression or anxiety can make it impossible to focus, interact with people, or even leave the house. If you have depression or anxiety that prevents you from being able to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance .

How To Obtain Disability Benefits For Depression

Anyone that wishes to qualify for disability benefits must meet the specific criteria outlined in Social Securitys impairment listing. Individuals that do not meet those criteria can still qualify for disability benefits if they are given a medical-vocational allowance due to the severity of their depression, as well as other factors, such as their age, work history, and educational level.

The Social Security Administration has published a list of common, serious illnesses that may qualify for disability benefits if the individual applying meets other specific requirements. The SSA publishes this list so that disability benefits are granted quickly for individuals suffering from severe impairments. Depression is listed within this list of impairments in Section 12.04, Depressive, Bipolar, and Related. Within the listing, a number of symptoms and functional issues are listed that a person must have before they can get disability benefits for depression.

The first step in determining whether you can claim compensation for depression is to determine you have any of the qualifying symptoms. To receive benefits, you must have a minimum of five of the below symptoms:

The above are symptoms of depression, but to qualify for disability benefits, you must meet certain criteria pertaining to the lack of function. Typically, you must be extremely limited in at least one of the following situations, or have a marked limitation in a minimum of two of the following situations:

What Is Social Security Disability

Social Security is a federal government program that provides financial benefits to people who are in need. It is funded by federal taxes, and its benefits are paid out to people who are eligible for retirement, have low income, or are unable to work because of specific health conditions.

There are two types of Social Security programs that help people who are disabled:

There are a number of different impairments that qualify for Social Security disability. They include medical conditions like cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine disorders, as well as mental health conditions like schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, bipolar disorder, and depression.

Read Also: Where Can I Get Social Security Number

How Can You Get Ssdi For Depression Criteria To Qualify

The SSDI application will benefit you if you have been struggling with depression for a year or longer, and you are unable to work as before. Mental health disorders are added to the list of medical conditions that qualify you for the benefits. These mental conditions include depression, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder.

To qualify for the SSDI, you must experience a minimum of at least five symptoms of depression listed above. You should also have at least one of the following:

  • You cannot comprehend information dished to you, interact with others, have the right concentration, and take care of yourself. To qualify, you must be experiencing a minimum of two of the listed symptoms.
  • Your depression is considered a disability if your medical records indicate that your symptoms have been persistent. You have been receiving treatment for depression for at least two years.
  • You should also be having a hard time adapting to your new lifestyle of living with depression as a disability and adapting to the new set routine.

To have more credit, you should have worked before and paid for your Social Security. The credits are based on your annual net income. If you are not confident whether you qualify for the SSDI, you can contact the administration to confirm your eligibility.

According to the SSDI, you can qualify for exclusive monthly benefits or instead get a medical-vocational allowance.

For you to receive medical funding, the following are needed:

Financial Ssa Programs For Depression Disability

Disability for Depression

The benefits program that works best for you will depend on your symptoms of depression and your current financial needs.

The SSI program is there to help you if your income isnt enough to meet necessities. Its a monthly payment program determined by your current income and assets.

Theres no set amount of help you may receive on SSI. If your state offers similar disability programs, you may receive less money from federal aid.

Most adults under the age of 65 who qualify for SSI have resources that total less than $2,000.

SSDI benefits are payments available if depression prevents you from working. To receive SSDI, your disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

You cant receive SSDI benefits for a short-term disability or a partial disability. If you live with seasonal affective disorder, for example, you may not meet the long-term requirements of diagnosis.

You must also be younger than your full retirement age when you apply.

In some cases, your family members may be eligible for SSDI payments while you live with a depression disability.

SSDI is a calculated number based on your employment history. In 2021, the average payment was approximately $1,200 monthly.

Its not uncommon to receive a rejection letter from SSDI. This is likely due to some details needed in your application. However, you can re-apply as many times as needed until you get approved.

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You May Need To Reapply

Depression is a condition that can change over time. While you may not have met the qualifications for Social Security disability when you first considered applying for benefits, you may qualify for Social Security disability now. Specifically, you should reconsider applying if your symptoms:

  • Significantly interfere with your activities of daily living or social functioning
  • Significantly interfere with your ability to focus
  • Worsen during repeated and extended periods

If one or more of these things is true, you may now qualify for Social Security disabilityeven if you didnt qualify when you were initially diagnosed with this serious medical condition.

After You Apply For Benefits

After you submit your application, your state’s disability determination services agency will assign your claim to a claims examiner for review. If your examiner doesn’t find enough evidence of your medical condition in your medical records, you may be required to attend an interview or undergo a “consultative mental exam” with an SSA-approved psychiatrist or psychologist to verify your condition. The process can take several months, but the more evidence and medical documentation you are able to provide, the better your chances of being able to get your claim approved.

If you receive a denial letter and feel your case is strong enough to win an appeal, consider contacting a disability lawyer. Applicants who go to an appeal hearing represented by a lawyer have a better approval rate than applicants who represent themselves.

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    Benefits For Disabled Adults

    SSDI is available to disabled adult workers who have paid Social Security taxes, while SSI is a need-based program only available to applicants that meet strict limitations on income and asset holdings. If you have never worked due to your mental illness, you will not qualify for SSDI. If you have financial support from friends or family, you will not qualify for SSI.

    Can You Get Disability Benefits For Depression

    Can you get Disability for bipolar disorder, depression?

      Ohio residents like you may suffer from disabling mental health issues. Over the years, mental disorders have received more attention and legitimacy as disabilities. Now, you can file for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits if you suffer from certain mental health issues.

      Does depression fall among the listed categories? If so, are there any standards you must meet to qualify for these benefits?

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      Applying For Disability With Depression

      Basic requirements for disability claimsdepressiondisability evaluation processrequirements for SSI and SSDISGA level work activitysevere medically verifiable mental or physical conditionDepression is evaluated under the criteria of listing 12.04 Affective Disorders.Impairment listing 12.04 criteria may be satisfied by the following methods.andrepeated decompensationsorfiling for Social Security and/or Supplemental Security disabilityMore about the conditionMost popular topics on SSDRC.com

      How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Depression

      Applying for benefits begins with filling out the Social Security Disability Application. You can do this over the phone, online, or by walking into your nearest Social Security Office. You will need your Social Security number and proof of your age , along with the names and contact information for any medical professionals that were involved in your treatment or diagnosis. You will also need names and dosages of your medications, medical records, lab results , a summary of where you worked and what was involved in your job, and the most recent W-2 or Federal Tax Return .

      The review process can take a while. In many cases, it will take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Thankfully there is Social Security Disability Back Pay that will be dated to the time of your application. Even so, you will most likely want to line up other resources while you wait for your SSDI Award Letter to arrive.

      One of the first things the SSA will do is determine whether or not you are working at a substantial gainful activity level. The SGA level is a threshold to determine if you need financial assistance in the form of SSDI. As of 2020, substantial gainful activity is deemed to be earnings over $1,260, either as wages or as net profit if you are self-employed. If you are legally blind, that threshold is raised to $2,110. You are allowed to deduct Impairment-Related Work Expenses such as medical treatment from your wages or net profit.

      Also Check: Where Do I Apply For Social Security Retirement Benefits

      Do You Have 5+ Qualifying Depression Symptoms

      You must submit medical evidence showing you have at least five of these depression symptoms:

      • Your mood is generally depressed
      • Difficulty sleeping
      • Little to no interest in activities you once enjoyed
      • Weight gain or loss because youre never hungry or overeating
      • Feeling like you have less energy
      • People who know you well say you move slower than you did before or act agitated, almost like youre angry
      • Trouble focusing on or completing your usual work, home, school or social activities/tasks
      • Feeling worthless or guilty for no good reason
      • Thinking about death often or having suicidal thoughts

      Ask your therapist, psychiatrist, psychologist or primary care physician for complete medical records that relate to your depression, including:

      • Your diagnosis date
      • Current prescription medications, including dosage, frequency and side effects
      • Treatment notes showing how your doctor manages your depression symptoms
      • Any tests your doctor used to rule out other health issues, including bloodwork for hormone or thyroid disorders

      Qualifying For Disability Benefits Based On Depression Listing

      How long can you be on disability for depression ...

      To qualify under the SSA’s official listing for depression, your depression must be characterized by at least five of the following:

      • depressed mood

      The SSA also requires that your depression cause limitations in the following areas:

      • understanding and remembering instructions and learning new things
      • interacting with others appropriately
      • concentrating and persisting to complete tasks, and/or
      • managing oneself .

      Alternatively, you might be able to qualify without fulfilling the above requirements if your depression has improved with medication or psychosocial support, but your recovery is tenuous and you could experience a setback if you go back to work. Specifically, to qualify under this alternative, your depression must be medically documented as having lasted at least two years and you must have minimal capacity to adjust to changes in your environment or an increase in mental demands.

      Also Check: How To Tell If Someone Used Your Social Security Number

      Get The Help You Need To Get The Benefits You Deserve

      We will be honest: it can be more difficult to secure disability benefits for a mental condition like depression than it is for an obvious physical limitation. However, with the right medical evidence and approach, a person who truly suffers from chronic and severe depression should be able to receive the Social Security disability benefits he or she deserves. Get help today from an experienced, knowledgeable disability attorney and begin learning about your case today. Call 800-800-6353 to request a free case evaluation.

      Applying For Disability Benefits

    • 1Fill out the application. The SSA allows you to apply for benefits in person at your local SSA office, over the phone, or online.
    • The SSA requires all SSI applicants to meet with a claims representative, so if you’re also filing for SSI it would be more efficient for you to apply over the phone or in person than to apply online.XResearch source
    • You can apply over the phone by calling 1-800-772-1213. You don’t have to call ahead and make an appointment before you go to apply in person, but doing so could decrease your wait time.XTrustworthy SourceSocial Security AdministrationIndependent U.S. government agency responsible for the administration and management of Social SecurityGo to source
    • 2Gather the necessary documents. The SSA requires you to submit certain documents to prove statements you made in your application.
    • You will be required to show a birth certificate, Social Security card, or other proof of identity and U.S. citizenship. You should also bring any medical records or doctors’ reports you already have in your possession. If you don’t have all your medical records, you can still apply for benefits. The SSA will help you get the documents you need to complete your application.XTrustworthy SourceUS Social Security AdministrationIndependent U.S. government agency that administers Social Security and related informationGo to source
    • If you’re also applying for SSDI, the same claims representative will review both applications at the same time.XResearch source
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      Social Security’s Standard Listing For Depression

      Social Security publishes a list of common, serious illnesses that qualify for disability if they meet the specified criteria. The purpose of the list is to be able to grant disability quickly for severe impairments. Clinical depression is covered in Social Security’s impairment listing 12.04, Depressive, bipolar and related disorders. The listing includes a set of symptoms and a list of functional problems you must have to qualify for either Social Security disability or SSI disability benefits on the basis of depression.

      First, you must show you have severe depression by having at least five of the following symptoms:

      • depressed mood
      • feelings of worthlessness or guilt
      • thoughts of death or suicide, and/or
      • a slowing of physical movement and reactions, including speech, or increased physical agitation, such as hand wringing or pacing.

      In addition to having at least five of the above symptoms, you must also meet “functional” criteria to show that you have a loss of abilities due to the mental disorder. Generally, you must have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas, or a “marked” limitation in at least two of the following areas:

      • understanding, remembering, or applying information
      • interacting with others
      • concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace in performing tasks, and/or
      • adapting or managing oneself.

      Contact A Social Security Disability Lawyer For Assistance

      Social Security Disability and Depression

      If depression has left you unable to work, you are not alone. The South Carolina disability attorneys of Schiller & Hamilton are ready to fight for you. We will work hard to help you get the disability benefits that can change your life.

      For more information on how we can help, call us or contact us now for a free consultation.

      Also Check: How To Change Address On Social Security Card

      Medical Opinions About Your Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

      You will need a statement from your treating doctor or a psychologist regarding the severity of your depression. For example, your doctor might give an opinion that you would miss several days of work each month due to your depression. Make sure the doctor provides an explanation for this opinion.

      Continue to see your doctor or therapist during the waiting process for benefits so that you can amass a long treatment history in your medical records. The SSA cannot easily deny the opinion of a therapist who has consistently found you to have a severe mental disorder and who has clinical signs supporting this opinion. If you cannot afford to see a doctor or therapist on a regular basis, the SSA may send you to a consultative examination with a psychologist. For more information, see Nolo’s article on getting a doctor’s report for disability.

      Other Ways To Qualify For Disability For Depression

      Meeting the requirements of the clinical depression listing, above, isn’t the only way to receive an approval for disability . If Social Security finds that your depression isn’t severe enough to meet the listing above, the agency will determine if you can be approved for benefits by being granted a “medical-vocational allowance.” Social Security will consider how your depression symptoms affect your ability to do any type of unskilled work, by looking at your ability to:

      • carry out simple instructions
      • respond appropriately to supervision and to co-workers, and
      • handle changes in routine.

      Social Security will then give you a rating of the type of work it thinks you can do .

      If depression is the only impairment you listed on the disability application, getting disability will be a long shot unless you have severe, disabling depression and can qualify under the listing for depression. But if you also have a physical impairment or another mental impairment along with depression, you have a better chance of getting benefits.

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