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How To Get Disability For Depression

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Social Security Should Grant Disability Benefits For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder To Those Who Have The Symptoms And Limitations Listed In Its Listing For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Depression is a common complaint made by individuals trying to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income disability benefits. Depression can cause symptoms of poor concentration, low energy, problems sleeping, and suicidal thoughts. If you have bipolar disorder , you may have depression mixed with periods of manic behavior with rapid speech.

To receive disability benefits, you will need to show proof of more than just a diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder. You will need to present evidence that your depression or bipolar disorder is so severe that you are unable to work or function well. According to Social Security statistics, about two-thirds of applicants who apply for disability on the basis of major clinical depression or bipolar disorder end up getting approved .

Following is a list of important issues the Social Security Administration will consider when evaluating your claim, and tips for how you can increase your chances of obtaining benefits.

Warning: Ltd Policies And Mental Illness Limitations

One thing to keep in mind when filing for long term disability is whether your long term disability insurance policy includes a Mental Illness Limitation.

Policies that contain a Mental Illness Limitation typically limit your benefits to two years if you are disabled due to a psychiatric condition such as depression or anxiety. Of course, each policy is different, so the prescribed maximum period may be shorter or longer depending on the terms of your particular policy.

Some policies with Mental Illness Limitations contain exemptions for certain mental conditions occasionally, bipolar disorder is exempt, though most other depressive disorders are not.

If you are solely disabled due to depression and your policy contains a Mental Illness Limitation that does not exempt it, your benefits will most likely stop when the maximum allowable period expires. Unfortunately, the severity of your mental illness will become irrelevant after the maximum allowable period expires.

However, if you can demonstrate that you are disabled due to objective cognitive problems, your benefits may extend beyond limitation period. A neuropsychological evaluation, as discussed earlier, can provide this evidence.

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How Can You Get Ssdi For Depression Criteria To Qualify

The SSDI application will benefit you if you have been struggling with depression for a year or longer, and you are unable to work as before. Mental health disorders are added to the list of medical conditions that qualify you for the benefits. These mental conditions include depression, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorder, and bipolar disorder.

To qualify for the SSDI, you must experience a minimum of at least five symptoms of depression listed above. You should also have at least one of the following:

  • You cannot comprehend information dished to you, interact with others, have the right concentration, and take care of yourself. To qualify, you must be experiencing a minimum of two of the listed symptoms.
  • Your depression is considered a disability if your medical records indicate that your symptoms have been persistent. You have been receiving treatment for depression for at least two years.
  • You should also be having a hard time adapting to your new lifestyle of living with depression as a disability and adapting to the new set routine.

To have more credit, you should have worked before and paid for your Social Security. The credits are based on your annual net income. If you are not confident whether you qualify for the SSDI, you can contact the administration to confirm your eligibility.

According to the SSDI, you can qualify for exclusive monthly benefits or instead get a medical-vocational allowance.

For you to receive medical funding, the following are needed:

What To Do If You Do Not Have Mental Health Insurance And Need Disability Benefits For Depression

Disability for Depression

If you do not have health insurance, there are still way to find treatment. If you are from Utah, go to Utahs Free and Low Cost Health Services. There you will find mental health resources that are affordable. Likewise, if you are from Nevada, you can go to Nevadas Free and Low Cost Mental Health Services on our site. There you will find examples of clinics and treatment centers. These provide counseling and mental health therapy. Some places offer counseling for free. Others offer it on a sliding scale. Dont wait, call these resources today. Get yourself into treatment.

Make sure the psychologist or psychiatrist you choose will support you through the disability process. Also, ask your counselor or therapist to support you too. Some treating sources refuse to provide progress notes. Or, they refuse to write letters on your behalf. Dont let this happen. Ask you mental health source to keep and provide their notes to the SSA. Also, seek treatment from someone who will help you. You should also ask your treating mental health therapist if they will support you in your disability claim.

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Work Credits And Eligibility For Social Security Disability Benefits

To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must have earned work credits. You must have held a job in the past where you paid taxes into the Social Security system. The number of Social Security work credits you earn is based on your annual wages. The amount of income required to earn a work credit changes every year. However, it is not very high. And, you can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year. One for each quarter of work. The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI varies depending on the age you are when you become disabled. You can review your work history to find your work credits. Create a MySSA account on Social Securitys website.

You may already know that Depression can effect your ability to work. Likewise, mental symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate at work. The symptoms can interfere with your ability to be on time. Also, they can make you call in sick to work. You may have already been fired from your job. To get Social Security Disability benefits, you will need to get ongoing treatment for your major depression. Ongoing treatment and inability to recover from Depression is the evidence that will prove your case to the Social Security Administration.

Check If You’re Eligible For Pip

If you need extra help because of an illness, disability or mental health condition you could get Personal Independence Payment .

You dont need to have worked or paid National Insurance to qualify for PIP, and it doesnt matter what your income is, if you have any savings or youre working.

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Is Depression Classified As A Disability

Yes, depression is a disability if it significantly limits your ability to function in everyday life and treatment isn’t working. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, Major Depressive Disorder is a leading cause of disability in the United States for people aged 15 to 44.

As defined by the Social Security Administration , disability means the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity because of a physical or mental problem.

In order to qualify, you must not be able to work at all in the next 12 months and have a disability that’s expected to last for more than one year. However, it can sometimes take several months of trying before you’re approved for disability benefits, but you will receive retroactive payments based on your application date.

The SSA has strict requirements for receiving supplemental security income and disability benefits. Although having treatment-resistant depression is a disability, you won’t automatically qualify for benefits. Your depression must substantially limit one or more significant life activities.

Where To Get Help

Can you get Disability for bipolar disorder, depression?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America lists several helpful resources that can connect you with others nearby who also have anxiety and depression that interferes with normal living. You can also find groups and treatment resources in your own ZIP code by searching the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration s online resource database. These resources are free, and the communities and providers they connect you with can often help you at reduced or no cost. You do not have to give your information to SAMHSA when you search their database for help.

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Financial Ssa Programs For Depression Disability

The benefits program that works best for you will depend on your symptoms of depression and your current financial needs.

The SSI program is there to help you if your income isnt enough to meet necessities. Its a monthly payment program determined by your current income and assets.

Theres no set amount of help you may receive on SSI. If your state offers similar disability programs, you may receive less money from federal aid.

Most adults under the age of 65 who qualify for SSI have resources that total less than $2,000.

SSDI benefits are payments available if depression prevents you from working. To receive SSDI, your disability must be expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.

You cant receive SSDI benefits for a short-term disability or a partial disability. If you live with seasonal affective disorder, for example, you may not meet the long-term requirements of diagnosis.

You must also be younger than your full retirement age when you apply.

In some cases, your family members may be eligible for SSDI payments while you live with a depression disability.

SSDI is a calculated number based on your employment history. In 2021, the average payment was approximately $1,200 monthly.

Its not uncommon to receive a rejection letter from SSDI. This is likely due to some details needed in your application. However, you can re-apply as many times as needed until you get approved.

Drug Or Alcohol Addiction

Applicants who have struggled with drug and/or alcohol addiction will have an incredibly difficult time being approved for disability benefits. This is because the SSAs medical examiners will assume your symptoms are due to drug or alcohol abuse. To avoid this, before an applicant completes an application, he or she needs to be sober for a substantial time period and must have medical records during this period that proves they are clinically depressed without the usage of drugs or alcohol.

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How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Depression

Applying for benefits begins with filling out the Social Security Disability Application. You can do this over the phone, online, or by walking into your nearest Social Security Office. You will need your Social Security number and proof of your age , along with the names and contact information for any medical professionals that were involved in your treatment or diagnosis. You will also need names and dosages of your medications, medical records, lab results , a summary of where you worked and what was involved in your job, and the most recent W-2 or Federal Tax Return .

The review process can take a while. In many cases, it will take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Thankfully there is Social Security Disability Back Pay that will be dated to the time of your application. Even so, you will most likely want to line up other resources while you wait for your SSDI Award Letter to arrive.

One of the first things the SSA will do is determine whether or not you are working at a substantial gainful activity level. The SGA level is a threshold to determine if you need financial assistance in the form of SSDI. As of 2020, substantial gainful activity is deemed to be earnings over $1,260, either as wages or as net profit if you are self-employed. If you are legally blind, that threshold is raised to $2,110. You are allowed to deduct Impairment-Related Work Expenses such as medical treatment from your wages or net profit.

Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness

How long can you be on disability for depression ...

Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.

Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.

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Starting A Disability Claim

Call the SSA at 800-772-1213 to set up an appointment to fill out an application for SSDI or SSI disability benefits. When you fill out your application, include a detailed description of how your depression affects your daily life, your social functioning, and your ability to concentrate and complete tasks quickly, follow directions, and function, and how often you have episodes of worsening symptoms. If you have both depression and a physical impairment that makes it impossible for you to work, consider hiring a disability lawyer to help you file your Social Security claim, or if your initial claim gets denied, to file an appeal with the SSA.

Take our disability quiz to help you determine whether you qualify for benefits.

Your Depression Disability Case

If you are disabled because of Depression that prevents you from working, you may well be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Although you must meet stringent requirements in order to receive total disability based on a diagnosis of, working closely with medical professionals and a qualified Social Security disability attorney or advocate to collect and present the appropriate documentation can ensure that your Depression disability claim will have the best possible chance of success.

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Why Is It So Difficult To Get Disability Benefits For Depression

Depression is a common condition cited on Social Security Disability applications, but that doesnt mean its easy for people with depression to secure benefits.

Like other conditions with symptoms that are based on emotional distress, a disability based on depression can be difficult to prove to the Social Security Administration because the symptoms are often difficult to measure.

Additionally, just being diagnosed with depression is not enough to qualify for benefits. The SSA must deem the depression severe enough to result in a disability finding.

Here are a few tips for getting a disability application based on depression approved:

1. Make sure your medical records support your claim. The SSA relies heavily on medical records to evaluate the severity of a persons depression and determine if it qualifies the person as disabled.

Make sure that your symptoms have been properly documented by your medical provider. That means making routine visits to the medical provider so that your records are up to date and thoroughly capture the progression of your illness.

2. Follow through on your treatment plan. Having a treatment plan created by you and your medical provider and then not following through on that treatment plan can send a message to the SSA that you have not exhausted all efforts in getting treatment for the depression.

An experienced attorney can take the lead and work with medical providers to collect the necessary evidence.

Can I Get Social Security If I Have Depression

Anxiety, Depression and Social Security Disability. A Lawyer’s Advice.

Depression is a type of mental health disorder that can impact your mood, thoughts and feelings, weight, sleeping habits, energy level, and ability to function. If you have depression that interferes with your ability to work, then you may be eligible for Social Security disability.

In order to qualify for Social Security for depression, you must experience at least five of the following:

  • Depressed mood

  • Suicidal thoughts

You also must meet at least one of the following two conditions:

  • You experience problems comprehending information, interacting with other people, maintaining attention, or caring for yourself. You must experience limitations in at least two of these areas.

  • Your depression is considered serious and persistent and you have documentation showing that you have been suffering from the condition and receiving treatment for at least 2 years. You also have a hard time adapting to changes and new demands to your routine.

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Can I Get Social Security Disability If I Suffer From Depression

Depression is a severe mental health condition that can qualify for Social Security disability benefits

Does Social Security consider depression to be disabling?

How exactly does Social Security evaluate a disability claim based on Depression?

Step 1: Non-Medical CriteriaStep 2: Severe ImpairmentStep 3: Medical ListingsStep 4: Past WorkStep 5: Other Work

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