Have Depression? You Could Receive Social Security Disability Benefits

You Could Receive Social Security Disability Benefits for depression

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 10 American adults suffer from depression. In fact, the National Institute of Mental Health puts the number of adults with depression at approximately 14.8 million, and considers major depressive disorder to be the No. 1 cause of disability for those between 15 and 44 years of age.

However, the severity of the mental illness varies from person to person depending on individual circumstances, such as genetic predisposition and other health conditions. It may be difficult for people with major depression to realize they could receive Social Security Disability benefits because they may think that since so many people have the disorder, their chances of being approved are slim. This is not the case, as The Wall Street Journal reported in December 2013 the Social Security Administration (SSA) changed how it determines if people qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, and, in many instances, those who meet certain criteria and have depression are rewarded Social Security Disability payments.

What To Keep In Mind
Not everyone with depression is found eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. For example, the Journal noted someone who is reaching retirement age, did not graduate high school and has major depression as well as another serious medical condition may have strong chances of receiving benefits. However, someone with an advanced degree, is in his or her 40s and only has mild depression may not have as strong of a chance.

If your symptoms keep you from working or have kept you from working and your physician expects your disability to continue for more than one year, you could receive Social Security Disability benefits. According to an article by former social worker Kelly Morris for Yahoo, your physician’s assessment of your depression is key to your Social Security Disability application. Morris noted for someone with depression to be rewarded Social Security Disability benefits, he or she must experience at least four of these symptoms:

  • Changes in appetite with weight gain or loss
  • Thinking about or attempting suicide
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Lack of energy
  • Loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy
  • Insomnia or issues sleeping

However, depression is one of those disabilities that may have a better chance of the person being found eligible if he or she works with an attorney. A lawyer can ensure your depression is adequately represented to the Social Security Administration and your application provides the proper medical documents and materials needed for the Social Security Administration to make a decision. If you have depression, a Social Security attorney or advocate may be the best person to ensure you are rewarded the payments you need.

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