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Can I Qualify for Social Security Disability if I Have Depression?

 Posted on November 23, 2021 in Social Security Disability

shutterstock_1711076632-min.jpgThere are multiple types of disabilities that can prevent a person from pursuing or maintaining gainful employment. If you have serious and ongoing health issues, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits. In addition to disabilities related to physical conditions such as injuries or illnesses, these benefits may also address mental health issues that affect your ability to work, including depression. Since mental illnesses are not always as outwardly obvious as other types of disabilities, it is important to understand the requirements that must be met in order for a person to receive benefits through Social Security.

When Is Depression Considered a Disability?

Clinical depression is a serious mental illness that can drastically affect a person’s ability to perform work, complete daily tasks, and maintain relationships with others. A person may be diagnosed with a condition such as major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder if they experience symptoms such as irritability, extreme sadness, a lack of interest or ability to take pleasure in activities they had previously enjoyed or participated in, decreased energy, difficulty maintaining body weight, problems with concentration, social withdrawal, or suicidal thoughts or actions.

Social Security will evaluate the symptoms a person has experienced due to depression. To be considered disabled, a person will need to provide medical documentation showing that they have experienced at least five of the following symptoms:

  • Negative moods or feelings, such as excessive and inappropriate sadness

  • A lack of interest in nearly all activities in their personal and professional lives

  • Disturbances in appetite leading to changes in body weight

  • Sleep disorders, including insomnia or excessive sleep

  • Psychomotor agitation involving physical restlessness or psychomotor retardation involving slowed thoughts and reduced physical movements

  • A significant decrease of energy

  • Excessive guilt or feelings that they are worthless and incapable of being loved or valued

  • Difficulty forming thoughts or concentrating on tasks or conversations

  • Suicidal ideation or persistent thoughts involving death

In addition to demonstrating the symptoms of depression, a person will need to show that their condition has affected their ability to perform work and other tasks. This may be done by demonstrating that they experience an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a “marked” or significant limitation in two or more areas:

  • Their ability to understand different types of information, remember this information, and apply it when performing tasks.

  • Their interactions with other people, including coworkers, customers, or others that they may encounter while working.

  • Their ability to concentrate on tasks and maintain a consistent pace while working.

  • Their adaptability to changing conditions and ability to manage different types of tasks.

Alternately, a person may show that their condition is “serious and persistent.” They can do so by providing medical records showing that depression has affected them continuously for at least two years. They will also need to provide medical evidence showing that they have received ongoing treatment for depression and that they have shown improvement and a minimal ability to adjust to changes in the environment or adapt to extraordinary demands.

Contact Our Collin County SSD Benefits Attorneys for Depression

At The Law Offices of Coats & Todd, we can work with you to apply for Social Security disability benefits based on depression and other mental health issues. We will make sure you provide the necessary documentation to show that you meet the qualifications for being disabled, and we will address any issues that may affect your ability to receive the financial assistance you need. Contact our Dallas County Social Security disability benefits lawyers at 972-671-9922 to arrange a free case evaluation today.



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