Published on: February 11, 2016
Depression can be caused from a variety of predispositions, such as genetics, biological, environmental and psychological factors. On average, emotions tend to fluctuate for a day or two and people generally bounce back from them; however, those who suffer from depression feel the emotional sting of sadness for a substantial period of time.
Those who don’t suffer from depression expect you to brush it off and bounce back to “normal”, but it’s not that simple. Most causes of depression stem from hormonal imbalances and are typically treated through medication and counseling.
Applying for Social Security disability benefits for depression is challenging and often full of tedious jargon and requirements. If you are suffering from severe depression, it is difficult to find enough motivation to wake up in the morning or even eat.
Before beginning the SSA disability application process, you should contact an experienced and knowledgeable disability advocate who can help you through the process.
The Social Security Administration does acknowledge mental disorders as a disability and depression is one that can qualify you to receive disability benefits. There are many variations of depression, such as psychotic, postpartum and seasonal affective disorder.
The Social Security Administration has certain requirements per each eligible condition that you must meet in order to qualify and receive disability benefits. Suffering from depression has already burdened your daily interactions and motivations, and it has likely affected those around you as well.
SSA Requirements for Depression
There are a few things you will need to know beforehand. Simply being diagnosed with depression will not qualify you to receive disability benefits.
To be qualified to receive Social Security disability benefits, you will need to:
- Get professionally diagnosed
- Be unable to work due to your condition
- Have sufficient medical evidence supporting your inability to work from the severity of your depression despite following your doctor’s treatment regimen.
Diagnosis, medical history and treatment are generally accepted, by the SSA, from professionals including:
- Mental health clinics
- Primary care physicians
Just being diagnosed with depression alone does not qualify you for disability benefits, but the extent that it interferes with your ability to work determines your eligibility. The Social Security Administration may conclude that your supporting medical documents are insufficient. In this case the SSA may schedule an MSE “mental status examination” to be completed.
You must also show that you have been actively completing treatment regimens as prescribed by your doctor and are still suffering from depression.
The SSA defines depression as an affective disorder and lists all the requirements you must meet in section 12.04, stating:
“The required level of severity for these disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied…”
You’re Not Alone
Chances are the last thing you want to do is sift and search through the SSA requirements to receiving disability benefits for depression. If you are in the state of Florida, hiring an advocate from Disability Experts of Florida will alleviate the stresses and burdens associated with gathering the required paperwork.
An advocate can also ensure that you meet the SSA requirements and prepare you for the MSE and the intricacies of the process.
This can be an intimidating process, but stay persistent and don’t give up; keep pressing on to get the benefits you deserve for a good quality of life. If you are battling depression and your right to Social Security disability benefits, you don’t have to do it on your own. Let a compassionate and knowledgeable advocate at Disability Experts of Florida fight for you.