Does depression qualify for Social Security disability?

by | Oct 29, 2018 | Firm News

You suffer from clinical depression. It’s gotten worse over the years. While you know that many people still have trouble understanding exactly how this works or how bad it can be, you know all too well that it can keep you from working. Many days, you struggle just to wake up in the morning. It’s truly an illness, and it is very hard to overcome.

If you cannot work, can you qualify for Social Security disability? Maybe you already worked for years or even decades, but it’s becoming impossible. You know that programs exist for those who get sick or injured, but you just do not know if your depression qualifies.

Mental disorders

You will be glad to know that it absolutely can. Depression is specifically listed by the Social Security Administration as one of the mental disorders that may be covered, along with things like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, autism, eating disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders.

So, while people in your personal life may not really grasp the scope of your disorder or understand how drastically it impacts your life, you can rest assured that the government does understand. The documentation on clinical depression is quite clear. If it truly makes it impossible for you to work, you do have options. Never assume that you do not because others tell you that you have to work through it on your own.

Symptoms of depression

To get these benefits, it is important to start by going to a doctor and getting an accurate diagnosis. If you have not done this yet, it is the best first step to take. You need medical documentation to back up your claims.

After all, depression is a severe condition that encompasses far more than a feeling of sadness or sorrow. Symptoms, per the SSA, may include things like:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Changes between sadness and euphoria
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in body weight
  • Changes in sleep schedules
  • Psychomotor abnormalities
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of energy
  • Increased energy
  • Pressured speech
  • Excessive irritability
  • A generally depressed mood — though possibly with times of elation
  • A lack of interest in activities
  • A lack of interest in pleasure
  • A “significant decline in functioning”

The SSA does note that these are by no means all of the possible symptoms, but they paint a fairly complete picture of what you may be dealing with and why these things can make it hard for you to work any longer. If you do find yourself in this position, it is important for you to understand all of the legal options you have moving forward.

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