If you are one of the 14.8 million people suffering from major depression, you may be unable to get or keep a job to support yourself. You may feel that the odds are stacked against you at every turn, being unable to work and provide for yourself or your family can make it difficult to cope. Did you know that you could qualify for Social Security Disability benefits as result of your major depression? Here's what you need to know to find out if you could get SSD benefits.
The Social Security Administration lists depression in Section 12.04, Affective Disorders and Section 12.04 A1 lists the criteria for depression. You must have at least four of the following:
- Loss of interest in almost all activities
- Appetite disturbance with change in weight
- Sleep disturbance
- Psycho motor agitation or retardation
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Thoughts of suicide
- Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking
and two of the following.
- Marked restriction of activities of daily living
- Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning
- Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace
- Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration
The SSA needs to see that your depression is severe enough to interfere with ability to hold a job. The above symptoms should show at least 12 months of occurrence, or that the symptoms are expected to last 12 months.
Six steps to take to help your claim go through:
- See a mental health professional to document your complaint.
- Don't miss your appointments.
- Don't refuse any type of treatment.
- Avoid any gaps in treatment.
- Keep careful records of every appointment, prescription and treatment.
- Ask for copies of your medical records related to treatment.
The Social Security Administration needs to see an unbroken history of proof that you sought help for your depression. Not receiving regular treatment for your disease is a red flag to the SSA that your illness is not severe enough to qualify for benefits.
SSDI for physical disabilities is difficult enough, but the criteria for mental disabilities are extremely strict. Following the above guidelines will help you prove your case, but if your claim in is denied, don't give up. An experienced Social Security lawyer from resources like Ball & Ferrari will be able to assist you in filing an appeal so that you can get the financial assistance that you need. The road to claim approval could be long and complicated, but with a qualified legal advocate by your side, your chances of success have a marked increase.