Is Depression a Disability that Counts for Social Security Disability Benefits?

Complete this quick form to get help with your disability benefits.

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    Complete this quick form to get help with your disability benefits.

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      Severe depression interferes with your life in countless ways. If one result is that you’re unable to go to work, Social Security Disability benefits can provide crucial financial help—monthly checks and Medicare or Medicaid access—to pay for your essential needs while you focus on improving your mental health.

      But is depression a disability they will recognize as qualifying for benefits?

      It is.

      In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) specifically lists a few types of depression and related mental health disorders that can be the basis for your application for disability benefits:

      • Major depressive disorder
      • Persistent depressive disorder
      • Bipolar I disorder
      • Bipolar II disorder
      • Cyclothymic (mood) disorder

      To win disability benefits, you must prove to the SSA that your health problems—mental, physical or both—make it nearly impossible for you to work at all.

      That’s where the challenge comes in. Millions of people live with depression on some level and continue to work. Proving a disability claim for depression requires careful evidence and arguments.

      A Social Security Disability lawyer can help—and doesn’t charge anything until you win benefits. Robertson Wendt Disability has helped thousands of people get through this process in South Carolina.

      We have disability legal teams in Charleston and Columbia, serving the whole state. Disability attorney Robertson Wendt is one of few attorneys in South Carolina who holds board certification in disability law.

      When you have depression, people will often remind you that you’re not alone. At Robertson Wendt Disability, we truly do stay by your side—and help you get financial relief so you can move forward.

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      Symptoms to Show How Your Depression Is a Disability that Qualifies for Benefits

      People with depressive disorders understand that depression is more than the kind of short-term sadness that everyone feels from time to time. And 21 million adults in the United States experience forms of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

      To award disability benefits, Social Security looks for your case of depression to be highly debilitating on a long-term basis.

      You prove this to Social Security in part by documenting your symptoms. Symptoms the SSA considers include:

      • Eating problems
      • Energy depletion
      • Feelings of worthlessness
      • Focus problems
      • Guilty feelings
      • Interest in your usual activities declining
      • Mood declining
      • Sleeping problems
      • Weight changes
      • Thinking about suicide

      Social Security will also look for assessments from mental health professionals about how well you process information, relate to other people, persist in tasks and control your behavior.

      Part of winning disability benefits is also showing that your impairment will keep you out of work for at least a year. For depression, Social Security will look to see if you have a two-year track record of seeking therapy, treatment or other programs that relieve your depression. But despite this treatment, you still struggle to navigate the world.

      Your doctor, therapist and other treatment providers may understand your mental health condition the most. But your disability lawyer understands what information from your care providers you need to send to Social Security, and how to present it.

      Having a Social Security Disability attorney can lighten the burden on you. You can talk to our South Carolina disability law firm team, in a free telephone consultation, to find out what you can do next.

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      Getting Social Security Disability for Depression: the Evidence

      For all the symptoms above that you might list in your disability benefits claim for depression, you’ve got to include supporting evidence.

      Social Security has to make sure that only qualified people get this financial assistance from the government, so it won’t just take your word for the symptoms you feel. It wants reports from other people who have treated you and who know you about how your symptoms of depression play out every day.

      These are the kinds of documentation we’re talking about, which you can collect from psychologists, psychiatrists and others:

      • Diagnosis documents
      • Results of psychological tests
      • Mental health exam results
      • Physical health exam results
      • Laboratory test results
      • Medical imaging results
      • A history of your therapy and treatment
      • Your overall psychological history
      • Medications you take
      • Reports on how medications affect you
      • Comments from people in your personal life
      • Comments from people in your school or work life

      It can feel overwhelming to think about all the information you need to gather. The system is overwhelming. Most people get denied for benefits at least once.

      This is why you may want to work with a disability lawyer. They can help you avoid mistakes in your disability claim. But more important than that, they can make the process easier for you.

      Depression is hard enough. You deserve support.

      At Robertson Wendt Disability, we can help. We work hard for you to get benefits, and get to better times.

      Call Us Now!

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