Can You Get Disability for Depression?

Published on: March 6, 2014

depression silhouette

Most people deal with bouts of feeling depressed at some point in their lives, but this doesn't mean that they have clinical depression. If you're exhibiting symptoms of depression (lack of motivation, decreased energy, as well as feelings of hopelessness and of guilt) for longer than 2 weeks, you may be dealing with clinical depression.

Many outsiders look at someone who's clinically depressed and say, "Just pull yourself together and get over it." But, what they don't understand is that it's not that simple. Yes, it's a psychological condition, but because it's deeply biological and because genetics play a role, it's similar to telling someone who's stricken with a physical impairment of some kind, to cure themselves of it.

To some extent, a person’s will can play a role in bringing him or herself out of a depression, but in order to adequately recover, medication is almost imperative.

So, can you get disability benefits for depression? If you're dealing with clinical depression, you may be eligible for disability benefits - find out if you qualify.

Showing You're Suffering from the Symptoms

Depression is covered in the publication Social Security publishes - it can be found under impairment listing 12.04, Affective Disorders, to be exact. To qualify for benefits the patient must show that they have 4 of the following symptoms:

  • Paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, or suicidal thoughts.
  • Lack of interest or pleasure in most activities
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Lack of physical movement

If you've been working on your depression with a doctor-prescribed treatment, and you're still dealing with recurrent episodes of depression, you may qualify for benefits. Circumstances vary and there is no way to predict the likelihood of exacerbation or remission of depressive symptoms.  Disability benefits may be available to support you and we encourage you to contact one of our expert advocates for more information.

You can Still Receive Benefits for Your Depression, Outside the Depression Category

Sometimes it's difficult to show that you're suffering from depression, so many people are granted benefits through a medical vocational allowance. Here, you'd have to show how your depression affects your ability to perform tasks at work.

Social Security will consider how your depression affects your ability to carry out simple instructions, make simple work-related decisions, respond appropriately to bosses and to co-workers, and manage changes in daily routines.

If You're not Granted Benefits...

If Social Security decides that you're not fit (or should we say, unfit) to receive disability benefits for depression, all hope is definitely not lost. If you feel as though you have a strong case, it's in your best interest to contact a disability advocate. Statistics actually demonstrate that those who attend an appeal hearing have a better chance of being granted benefits.

Contact a Disability Advocate Today

Even if you haven't yet attempted to receive disability benefits for your depression, it's advised that you speak with a disability advocate right away. They'll be able to help you determine whether or not you're a good candidate, and if you are, how best to apply in order to get the compensation you deserve.

You may be timid or feel embarrassed about applying for disability benefits for depression, but you really shouldn't. Unlike the majority of the public, disability advocates fully understand depression as the severe clinical condition that it is. Apart from helping you receive compensation, they're also available to help you through the emotional difficulties of depression and its consequences.

So, what are you waiting for? Seek the help of a disability advocate for your depression, today.


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