Can You Get Disability Benefits for Depression
Synopsis: When filing for Disability benefits for major depression you need to know what information the Social Security Administration considers. Unlike physical impairments that can be proven with blood tests and x-rays, mental impairments are largely based on patient's complaints to mental health doctors. The effect that depression has on a person's ability to function is crucial! Applicants must show that the depression is affecting daily function and that they are not contributing to the disability.
About 19 million Americans live with major depression. Major depression can be debilitating and require medication, therapy, and treatment.
For many, depression affects the ability to function and prevents people from holding a steady job. When filing for disability benefits for major depression, you must understand what information the Social Security Administration considers.
What Social Security is Looking For?
Depression must be severe: Unlike physical impairments that can be proven with blood tests and x-rays, mental impairments are largely based on patient's complaints to mental health doctors. To prove depression, one should:
- See a mental health professional regularly
- Obtain and keep records of office visits
- Don't miss appointments or leave gaps in medical records
- Comply with treatment!
Lack of treatment suggests that the person is able to manage the depression and that it is not severe. Do not contribute to impairment by avoiding care.
Records Must Show Symptoms
Records must be consistent and show that 4 of the following symptoms have continued to exist despite treatment:
- Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities;
- Appetite disturbance with change in weight;
- Sleep disturbance;
- Psychomotor agitation or retardation
- Decreased energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Thoughts of suicide, or hallucinations
- Delusions or paranoid thinking
Symptoms must persist for at Least 12 months. Valid claims for depression must show symptoms have lasted or will last at least 12 months.
The effect that depression has on a person's ability to function is crucial. Applicants must show that the depression is affecting daily function and that they are not contributing to the disability.
- Sustain sobriety from drugs and alcohol at least 6 months prior to applying for disability
- Visit doctor regularly and obtain a supportive statement
- Take proscribed medication and comply with treatment
Proving disability with mental impairments is often more difficult than physical disabilities.
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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2011, February 18). Can You Get Disability Benefits for Depression. Disabled World. Retrieved February 26, 2024 from www.disabled-world.com/disability/types/psychological/depression-disability-benefits.php
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