How to Get Disability Approved for Anxiety and Depression
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI or SSD) benefits are monthly payments you can receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you have a qualifying disability, including anxiety and depression. This blog post will explain how you become eligible for SSD benefit payments and what criteria your anxiety and depression need to meet to qualify.
MJ Ellis Disability Law Office represents residents of Northern New Jersey whose physical or mental disability prevent them from earning enough income to support themselves or their families. Our expert disability law team is led by Attorney Maryjean Ellis who fights for the benefits every client deserves. If you think you might qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, reach out to us today. We’re here to help you get your SSD benefit payments.
Do Anxiety and Depression Qualify for Disability Benefits? Yes.
A qualifying disability under the government’s definition is a physical or mental impairment that can be medically determined lasting or expected to last at least 12 months (or lead to death), that prevent the person from performing substantial gainful activities. Substantial gainful activities (SGAs) are things that you can do to earn income. In 2022, if your impairment keeps you from earning any more than $1,350, you qualify for monthly SSD benefit payments.
Anyone who fits into the description in the last paragraph could be eligible for SSDI payments if they worked enough years to earn the minimum number of “work credits” to be covered by the Social Security Disability Insurance.
What You Need to Get SSD for Anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and depression are two of the most common types of mental illness. Most people who have with either anxiety or depression actually suffer from both. While some anxiety and depression sufferers find a way to function at a level permitting them to continue to work, many people afflicted with one or both illnesses simply cannot maintain a stable enough mental state to tolerate full time, consistent work hours.
On of the most important factors in a successful disability claim based on anxiety or depression is how long the record of treatment is. Social Security Disability benefits are granted to people who can present evidence that their impairment is long-term and severe. The SSA claim assessment agents must be convinced by the medical record that the claimed disability has is so severe that it prevents you from performing your traditional occupation and any reasonable alternative job appropriate for your age, training, educational background. The SSA refers to your present ability to do “some job” as your “residual functional capacity.”
Severe Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression
Mental impairments resulting in long-term disability are deeply painful, emotionally exhausting, and can overwhelm people to the point of self-harm or suicide. Serious persistent mental illness is a lifelong challenge for individuals and their families, often finding little relief from available treatments.
Among the anxiety disorders SSD recognizes are Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and phobias. But the SSD requires that these conditions be severe and profoundly disruptive to the claimant’s daily living.
The Social Security Administration uses a manual called the Bluebook of Listed Disability Index listing how an impairment is assessed to determine if it is severe enough to constitute a qualified disability. Section 12.06 under the Mental Disorders category describes how anxiety disorders are qualified. The criteria sets out a series of possible combinations of symptoms, some requiring certain degrees of severity, that “define” the disability for SSD.
Section 12.04 of the Bluebook of Listed Disability Index address the criteria for depression and related depressive disorders. It similarly lays out what combination of symptoms and degrees of severity the medical documentation must support to qualify for SSD benefit payments.
Are Your Impairments Sever Enough?
Remember that you are not required to claim your disability is based on a single impairment. Many, if not most claimed disabilities are based on the applicant’s suffering from a combination of impairments. And those combinations may be multiple physical or multiple mental impairments, or the claim may assert a disability based on one or more physical and mental impairments.
SSD claims arising from mental impairments tend to be compound claims, based on multiple diagnoses combining to prevent the applicant from working regularly. To qualify for SSD benefit payments a claim must demonstrate a significant limitation of these functions:
- walking, siting, standing, pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying
- hearing, speaking, and seeing
- understanding and following simple directions, and
- interacting with co-workers and supervisors and adjusting to changes in the workplace.
MJ Ellis Disability Law Office Fights for Anxiety or Depression Related Disability Claims
Social Security Disability claims based on anxiety and depression can be especially challenging for someone to file and pursue without an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer’s help. At MJ Ellis Disability Law Office, we understand the special attention needed to prepare a disability claim arising from anxiety, depression, or another mental disorder. We are committed to obtaining and organizing the necessary medical documents and reporting your pertinent life history to the SSA in a way that maximizes your chance of winning your disability claim.