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How To Win Disability Hearing For Depression

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Consideration Of Your Residual Functional Capacity

How to Testify Effectively in a Depression Social Security Disability Hearing

If the SSA says you don’t meet the disability listing, the SSA will consider what you can do. It does this by writing up your mental residual functional capacity . An MRFC is a description of what tasks you can do in a work setting it explains your communication skills, your ability to relate to others, your ability to speak to the public, and whether you can be reliable in showing up to work.

For instance, say you have bipolar disorder and there is evidence in your medical records that you have moderate impairment in your social functioning caused by mood swings and you have a moderate level of difficulty with concentration. Your RFC might look like the following: you have no limitations in walking/standing/sitting, you are unable to work with the public, and you are limited to simple 1-2 step instructions. This RFC would prevent you from working in many occupations, but you still would not be found disabled since there are simple unskilled jobs that do not require working with the public. Read more about how the SSA makes this decision in our article on how the SSA evaluates an RFC for disability.

Social Security Has A List Of Criteria You Must Fulfill To Qualify For Disability Benefits For Depression

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

Depression can be so disruptive to a person’s life that it interferes with everyday life and makes it impossible to work. If your depression is so severe, even with antidepressive medication, that you can’t work any type of job, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Your condition will have to be well documented as well as severely debilitatingit must affect your ability to function socially, concentrate, and/or manage the tasks of daily living. And you must have been diagnosed with depression that is persistent , even though you may not be continuously depressed .

To qualify for disability benefits for depression, your condition must be severe enough to meet requirements the Social Security Administration has set out in its impairment listing on depressive disorders OR it must interfere with your functioning to such an extent that the SSA agrees that there are no jobs that you can do.

Be Direct And Concise

The best piece of advice for a person set to testify in front of a judge is this only answer the question that the judge has asked, and do not volunteer any additional information. Why is this important? It establishes your credibility, plus it makes the judges job easier. The fastest way to derail a hearing is to offer long, narrative answers to yes or no questions. Consider the job of a disability judge. In order to do their job, a judge has to take in a tremendous amount of information in a short period of time. At every hearing, the judge will have a disability claimants electronic file in front of them on their computer monitor. This file contains every piece of medical evidence from the time a claimants disability began. The file also contains detailed work histories, earnings records, sworn statements from the claimant and third parties, detailed questionnaires, opinion evidence from treating doctors and Social Security consultative examiners. Often, a file contains thousands of pages of evidence. The faster the judge can get through the background, the faster youll get your chance to explain the important details of your situation. Judges are human beings like the rest of us, except they hold more power than the average citizen and every day they make decisions that have a huge impact on peoples lives. You want the judge to be happy and you want to leave a good impression by providing direct answers without forcing the judge to redirect you.

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Using Social Securitys Special Language

An experienced attorney would approach your case by studying your medical record, then creating a checklist form that tracks most of your symptoms. These forms also include the specific functional limitations set forth in the judges handbook used by your Social Security Judge. Experienced representatives should know which vocational factors carry the most weight with Judges in a particular hearing office.

For example, a limitation that describes interference with concentration such that you would not be able to understand and carry out complex job instructions is not particularly limiting, since many jobs exist that only require you to understand and carry out simple job instructions.

On the other hand a limitation that says you would be unable to perform jobs requiring interaction with the public or that you would have difficulty interacting with co-workers or supervisors is extremely significant since there are very few jobs that would permit you to work alone and unsupervised.

Can You Get Disability For Depression

Social Security Disability and Depression

Yes, you can get disability benefits for depression. Depression is a serious mental health condition that can leave those who suffer from it unable to work. But depressive disorders that qualify for Social Security disability benefits are different from situational depressions.

Situational depression is a common response to the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, and other major life events. While these situations are undoubtedly painful, the most severe depressive symptoms often pass within a week or two. If you suffer from severe, daily symptoms for longer than two weeks, a medical professional might diagnose you with clinical depression.

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The Advantage Of Having A Lawyer

One of the most critical things you can do to increase your chances of receiving SSDI or SSI is to hire a disability lawyer. As our survey results showed, 55% of readers who had an attorney received benefits for their mental impairments, either at the application stage or after a hearing. That’s a significant improvement over the 36% who got benefits without a lawyer’s help.

Don’t be afraid to include a diagnosis of PTSD if it is relevant or contributes to your disability. Some health issues are often exacerbated by PTSD and other related mental health issues. This process is entirely too overwhelming to accomplish without the assistance of a skilled and caring disability attorney.

Candyce, 37, Oregon

Experienced disability attorneys understand Social Security’s complicated rules for mental disorders. A lawyer can work with your doctor or psychologist to provide helpful medical evidence, request Social Security to send you for I.Q. or memory testing, or, if Social Security sent you to a mental exam and the doctor’s opinion hurts your case, your lawyer can work to cast doubt on the doctor’s opinion.

Can I Get Social Security If I Have Depression

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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The Ssas Disability Programs

Each program requires you meet medical eligibility rules as well as program-specific technical and/or financial requirements:

  • For SSDI, you must have a work history during which you paid Social Security taxes and accumulated work credits. Most adults who worked even part-time before their depression affected their job will qualify for SSDI benefits.
  • For SSI, you must have limited income and other financial resources and assets. There is no work requirement for SSI, but an adult cannot have more than $2,000 saved in resources to qualify for SSI.

Each program pays a monthly cash benefit and offers eligibility for medical coverage through Medicare or Medicaid as well.

Showing Reduced Productivity Due To Moderate Depression

Anxiety Disorder and Social Security Disability: Winning Strategies for Your Claim

Another way to win your claim for disability is to prove that your moderate depression or anxiety, when combined with your severe physical impairment, will result in a 20% reduction in your productivity in the workplace.

You or your attorney can present this argument at the hearing level by discussing the combined side effects of your medications. For example, most anxiety and depression medications can cause fatigue, insomnia, headaches, or restlessness. Pain medication can likewise cause difficulty in thinking and concentration, along with excessive sleepiness. During your hearing, your attorney and the administrative law judge will ask you questions to determine the extent of how the medications affect you. Examples of these questions are:

  • Do you watch television? If so, can you watch an entire one-hour show?
  • Do you like to read? If so, do you read magazines or books?
  • How many hours do you sleep at night?
  • Do you sleep during the day?
  • What time do you go to bed during the day? What time do you wake up?
  • Are you able to drive when you take your medications?
  • Have you tried any other medications?
  • Do you pay your bills or does someone help you?

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Can I Get Disability For Depression And Anxiety

Are you struggling with depression or anxiety that makes it nearly impossible to fulfil your work responsibilities? Are you looking for information regarding disability benefits for depression and anxiety? Then dont worry, weve got you covered.

In this article Can I get disability for depression and anxiety? we will review the available benefits and how to qualify for the insurance plans. Read on below.

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What Are The Three Types Of Depression Which Are Eligible For Ssdi

Psychiatrists will classify the severity of the depression as mild, moderate, or severe forms. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder is among the bodies determining the qualification for the benefits. Either way, the states of depression that are eligible for the SSDI are only three and are dependent on your productivity at work, the capability to attend school, and how you interact with others. The disorders are

1. Major Depressive Disorder This form of depression occurs when you are experiencing persistent sadness for prolonged periods occasionally. Normal episodes of sadness are normally a part of being human, but the mood changes are severe when you suffer from a major depressive disorder.

This conditions trigger may occur following life events like the death of a loved one, divorce, or diagnosis of a chronic illness. Clinical depression will have led to a significant deterioration of your moods and behavior, affecting your social life, work, or school. Studies done in 2017 show that about 7% of adults in the U.S have experienced an MDD episode. Some individuals never seek out professional help, but most do. They learn how to overcome, function, and heal from the disorder.

Talk to an expert physician at Mango Clinic for mental health issues or click the banner below to book your appointment.

Treatment can be by the use of antidepressants and psychotherapy. To improve symptoms:

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When Will I Find Out Whether The Judge Approved Or Denied My Case

Judges typically do not tell claimants whether the case is approved or denied on the day of the hearing. Your decision will arrive via mail roughly one to two months after the hearing. There are limited circumstances in which the date of a disability hearing can be sped up. However, wait times are fortunately dropping due to Covid-19 for claimants willing to testify via telephone call our office today to discuss whether these limited exceptions apply to your case and to discuss the option of agreeing to a telephone hearing.

When Should I Hire An Attorney

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Many firms do not accept clients until they have applied for benefits or until after they have been denied. At United Disability Lawyers Group, we help claimants at every stage from completing the initial paperwork to filing a federal court case. To ensure the best result, we recommend contacting an attorney as early in the process as possible. An attorney will counsel you about the evidence needed to win your case. Your attorney also can help ensure that the process goes smoothly so that you can get the benefits you need as soon as possible.

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Migraine Headache Conditions Secondary To Tinnitus

Migraine headaches are a type of headache characterized by intense pain that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sounds, lightheadedness, and blurred vision. Migraines can be debilitating and can last anywhere from hours to days depending on the person. It is unclear what causes migraines, but triggers can include hormonal imbalance, alcohol, stress, and sensory stimulation . According to the American Migraine Foundation, there is a strong relationship between tinnitus and migraine headaches. Specifically, about 27 percent of individuals with tinnitus also suffer from migraines. Some individuals also report a worsening in tinnitus symptoms during migraine attacks. Recent studies suggest that tinnitus and migraines co-occur as a result of spontaneous abnormal neural activity however, more research needs to be done in this area.

Helping People Suffering From Depression

Depression can make it difficult to perform basic daily activities, let alone sustain gainful employment. At Jeffrey A Rabin & Associates, Ltd. we understand this and want to assist you in getting the help you need. We can help you file a disability claim for Social Security benefits from any of our five locations in northern Illinois.

Reach out today to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago Social Security Disability attorney. You can contact us online or call us at 888-529-0600.

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Depression Disability Benefits: The Ultimate Guide

I wrote The Ultimate Guide to Depression Disability Benefits for people who need to win or maintain disability benefits for Depression.

This Guide is based on my 25 years experience as a former occupational therapist and now disability lawyer. This Guide is meant to give you an overview of the types of benefits you may qualify for and the challenges you will face.

Because you are reading this Guide, I know you are on the right path. Educating yourself is the single most important thing you can do to improve your chances of success with any disability claim.

If you have questions about this Guide, or any disability claim issue, call our support team toll free at .

Keep on learning and I wish you all the best with your journey,

David Brannen, disability lawyer & founder, Resolute Legal

What Can I Expect At A Hearing

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The third stage of a disability claim is a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. Unlike a typical hearing in court, this is a private and confidential proceeding, there is no opposing attorney, no rules of evidence, and no witnesses. Claimants can expect to find a Judge, a court monitor, and likely a Vocational Expert. The Judge will swear you in, ask about your work history, your medical treatment, and your daily life.

After the hearing, most claimants can expect to get a decision in the mail within two weeks to six months.

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Other Ways To Qualify For Disability For Depression

Meeting the requirements of the clinical depression listing, above, isn’t the only way to receive an approval for disability . If Social Security finds that your depression isn’t severe enough to meet the listing above, the agency will determine if you can be approved for benefits by being granted a “medical-vocational allowance.” Social Security will consider how your depression symptoms affect your ability to do any type of unskilled work, by looking at your ability to:

  • carry out simple instructions
  • respond appropriately to supervision and to co-workers, and
  • handle changes in routine.

Social Security will then give you a rating of the type of work it thinks you can do .

If depression is the only impairment you listed on the disability application, getting disability will be a long shot unless you have severe, disabling depression and can qualify under the listing for depression. But if you also have a physical impairment or another mental impairment along with depression, you have a better chance of getting benefits.

How Do You Win A Disability Case For Mental Illness

Winning a disability case for mental illness can be difficult because you do not have the same type of medical evidence available you might for a physical ailment. There are no X-rays or scans or laboratory tests to confirm most mental health concerns. Instead, you must rely on notes from your doctor, the outcome of treatments, and other evidence.

In the same way that the Social Security Administration publishes a list of impairment listings and criteria to qualify for physical ailments, the Blue Book contains a section for mental health disorders. If your mental illness prevents you from earning the substantial gainful activity limit on a monthly basis, and you meet the criteria under the applicable section, you should get approved for benefits.

In the Blue Book, each section includes the evidence necessary to qualify based on that diagnosis. Your application information and medical records will need to prove you meet the criteria to get benefits based on the impairment listing.

You can get disability for mental illness without meeting the qualifications under an impairment listing as well. You will, however, need to show that your condition prevents you from working and earning a living. A residual functional capacity assessment proves this for you. This assessment considers:

  • Your training, education, experience, and age
  • Your ability to work any job you might qualify for
  • How long you can work
  • How often you can work

How a Social Security Attorney Can Help

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