Chances of Getting Disability Benefits For Depression
Depression is a serious mental illness affecting more than 17 million people in the U.S. The symptoms, such as anxiety and fatigue, often make it impossible for people with depression to maintain social connections with friends and relatives. It can also affect their ability to earn an income by interfering with their ability to function in a work environment.
If a physician or mental health professional gave you a diagnosis of depression, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits. The benefits you get for a disability with depression can make life easier by taking away the financial worry of being out of work with no income.
A compassionate Social Security disability lawyer and support staff at MJ Ellis Disability Law are dedicated to helping you to receive SSD for depression. They put their unsurpassed knowledge of Social Security disability regulations and procedures and years of practical experience to work for you whether you are filing a new application for disability benefits or challenging an adverse determination through the appeal process.
What Is Depression?
Depression affects the way you act, think, and feel. A few of the many symptoms associated with depression include:
- Depressed mood.
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much.
- Weight change caused overeating or a poor appetite.
- Impaired concentration and ability to think.
- Feeling worthless or guilty.
- Loss of interest in social activities or maintaining social contacts.
- Fatigue and loss of energy.
- Lack of motivation.
- Impaired ability to understand, remember or apply instructions.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
Someone experiencing symptoms of depression may have difficulty recognizing that they have it, so it is essential that evaluation be done by a psychiatrist, psychologist or other mental health professional to confirm that you have depression and begin to treat it with medication, therapy and other treatment options currently available.
Non-Medical Requirements You Must Meet To Qualify For Benefits
When the symptoms associated with depression interfere with your ability to work, the application that you submit for SSI or SSDI benefits goes through a review process that starts with by determining whether you meet the non-medical requirements to qualify for SSD with depression. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have a long enough record of earnings from jobs or self-employment and paid Social Security taxes on the income. If you did and become disabled before becoming eligible for retirement benefits, you can apply for SSDI. The maximum SSDI benefit in 2022 is $3,345 per month, but the average benefit paid to disabled workers is $1,358 a month because what you receive depends on total lifetime earnings.
If you did not work long enough to qualify for SSDI, you may be eligible for SSI benefits. The monthly maximum federal SSI benefit is $841. Some states offer their residents a supplement in addition to the federal benefit.
SSI is a need-based program intended to provide enough money for food, shelter and other basic essentials. It sets strict limits on the total value of resources available to you and the monthly income you receive from other sources. If you have income or own assets, an SSI lawyer at MJ Ellis Disability Law will review your claim to determine whether you meet the non-medical criteria for SSI.
Satisfying The Medical Requirements To Qualify For Disability Benefits
Meeting the medical criteria to qualify for disability benefits for depression is not easy, but it can be done provided you have the medical records to prove that you have the condition and that it prevents you from working. The Social Security Administration has a Listing of Impairments, which is also referred to as the “Blue Book.”
If you have a listed impairment or your impairment matches the medical criteria for impairment in the Blue Book, you have a disability that qualifies for SSI or SSDI benefits. The listing for depression requires that you have at least five of the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood.
- Diminished interest in almost all activities.
- Appetite disturbance with weight changes.
- Sleep disturbance.
- Observable psychomotor agitation or retardation.
- Decreased energy.
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
You also need to prove the presence of either an extreme limitation of one or a marked limitation of two of the following mental functions:
- Understand, remember or apply information.
- Interact with other people.
- Adapt or manage yourself.
Statements from the mental health professional treating you for depression, co-workers and relatives may be helpful in meeting the demand for proof that you meet the listing criteria.
A Disability Lawyer Can Help
An SSD lawyer at MJ Ellis Disability Law can help with the difficult task of proving the listing criteria for depression or suggest alternative methods that may allow you to qualify for disability benefits for depression. Contact us for a free consultation.