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Seeking Social Security benefits for depression

| Jan 21, 2020 | Social Security Disability

People sometimes see depression as an issue that fades without treatment. You may blame certain feelings regarding a specific event, not realizing that clinical depression may be the cause. However, if you are experiencing symptoms of clinical depression, you may have a case to receive Social Security Disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration recognizes that depression may be a debilitating issue in certain situations and includes it in the blue book as a depressive disorder.

Signs of depression

The symptoms of depression are not always just feeling sad. For example, you may experience a loss of interest in activities that you once loved. Other potential signs of depression include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased energy
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Changes in appetite and weight

Criteria to qualify for benefits

There are two sets of criteria to qualify for SSDI for your depression. The first option requires that the depression caused you to develop five of the signs of depression and two of the following:

  • Inability to adapt or care for yourself
  • Limited ability to interact socially
  • Limited ability to apply information
  • Inability to maintain regular persistence or pace

If you do not meet those requirements, the second criteria include medical records that demonstrate a history of depression for a minimum of two years, depression that limits your ability to work and extended periods where your symptoms worsen.

Evidence for a claim

Make sure to provide recent medical data that shows that your depression currently affects you. To move forward with a case for SSDI, you need to provide medical evidence to support your claim.

This evidence may include mental health records from the past year and contact details for the medical professionals providing your treatment. After you file, claim examiners review the information provided before deciding about your claim for benefits.

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