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Depression and Social Security Benefits

Depression and Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration will automatically award disability benefits for depression bipolar disorder or other mental health conditions if you can prove that you have symptoms and limitations listed on the Social Security official list of disabilities for depression or bipolar disorder.

If you have been diagnosed with depression and you expect you cannot work for at least one year due to depression, you may want to file a Social Security disability claim. If your depression is so bad, even when treated with antidepressant medications, that you cannot do any kind of job, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.

If depression is the only impairment that you listed on your disability application, getting disability benefits is going to be a longshot — unless you have a serious, disabling case of depression that qualifies you on the Depression List.

To qualify for disability benefits for depression, your depression must be severe enough to meet the requirements that Social Security (SSA) has outlined in Social Securitys list of impairments for depression (List 12.04), or it must interfere with your ability to function so much that the SSA agrees that there is no work that you can do.

The main requirements is a work history, or lack of, evidence of your disability preventing you from working. A doctors report will work as long as it has your diagnosis and if it prevents you from working. Your doctors opinion and diagnosis goes a long way in your favor.

If you do not meet SSAs criteria for depressive disorders, you can still qualify for disability benefits if you can prove that all of your medical conditions, taken together, meet or exceed the listings. Like all the blue book listings, depressive disorders have a list of criteria applicants must meet in order to be eligible for the Social Security Disability Insurance benefits.

The common list includes a list of symptoms and functional problems that must occur in order for you to be eligible for either Social Security Disability Insurance or SSI Disability Insurance benefits based on your depressive condition. Your symptoms must be bad enough to hinder your job or prevent you from working.

Depression and Social Security Benefits

To qualify for disability benefits, you must have supporting medical evidence showing you meet the criteria in the blue book listing, have been unable to work for at least 12 months, and have earned sufficient work credits to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

You may be eligible to receive benefits for disabilities such as depression either through SSDI or SSI, but only through SSI if you are ineligible for SSDI because you have not paid into Social Security, have insufficient work credits (more about those below), and/or make less than a certain amount of money. It all depends on how much you paid in.

To qualify for disability benefits, as well as supporting medical evidence, you need to show that your depression has been present or expected to continue for at least 12 months, that your condition has prevented you from working, and that you are earning over $1,350 a month when you are working.

To be approved for disability benefits, your disability benefit application must prove that your depression makes you unable to work.

If you have both depression and a physical impairment that makes you unable to work, consider hiring a disability attorney to help you file a Social Security claim, or, if your initial claim is denied, file an appeal to Social Security.

If your claim is denied, strongly consider getting a copy of your claims file and seeking the advice of a lawyer who specializes in depression and anxiety disability claims on the SSDI.

Depression and Social Security Benefits

While you will need to meet strict requirements in order to obtain a full disability award based on your diagnosis of depression, working closely with your health care providers and with your SSDI attorney or advocate to gather and submit the proper documentation can make sure your disability claim for depression has the best chance at success.

If you are applying for disability benefits for an anxiety-related condition, you may be able to prove your case with the help of your medical records, letters and reports from your doctors, and your own testimony.

Depression also may be claimed as a disability under the SSA, but only if you meet certain criteria. In addition to meeting these specific disability criteria, applicants seeking disability benefits on the basis of a depressive disorder also need to meet SSAs general requirements for eligibility.

The bottom line is that you have to start the Social Security disability process. Make sure you have everything that you need to follow the process. Then it’s just a point of following the guidelines to complete the disability process. Once you are done you will wait on an approval or a denial.

If you are denied for disability for having depression you can file an appeal. The good news is that as long as you have proof that depression is a disability to you, you are more likely to get approved on appeal because thousands of approvals happen on appeal.

TiP – If you have severe depression, go down to your local social security administration and talk to someone about the process of applying for disability and they will tell you everything upu need to know.

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By E-Bipolar

I am a freelance blogger. I write about bipolar disorder and mental health conditions including addiction.

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