Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Is It Hard To Get Disability For Depression

Benefits And Mental Health

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

If your mental health means you find it hard to work or do daily tasks, you could claim benefits. These will depend on the criteria, but can include depression or anxiety.

The benefit process can be stressful. There are things you can do if its affecting your mental health. These can include:

  • accessing mental health support
  • talking to a mental health charity about how you are feeling
  • talking to other disabled people on our online community

Unique Challenges Of Mental Illness And Applying For Disability Insurance Benefits

1. The insurance industry sees you as a problem

Due to volume of disability benefits claims involving mental illness, the insurance industry has made managing mental health claims a top priority. Insurers have developed a number of strategies for how to wrongfully deny your disability claim, while maintaining the appearance of objectivity. There is little you can do about the insurance industry practices. But, understanding how the insurance company acts will help you know what to expect. And, it will allow you to make better plans.

Focus on things that are in your control. For example, if the insurance company denies your claim, you have to weigh your options. You could appeal directly to the insurance company, or file a lawsuit against the insurance company. In some situations, doing appeals with the insurance company can be a complete waste of time.

See Related Article: 4 Reasons to Avoid Disability Claim Internal Appeals

2. Mental illness is invisible

3. Short-term benefits only

Insurance companies will often approve disability benefits claims involving mental illness for the short term. It is important that you understand this so you can better prepare yourself and not be caught off-guard by the termination.

The first definition applies for the first two years and usually says you will qualify for benefits if you cant do your own job.

4. Surveillance & Social Media

5. Behind-the-scenes medical advisors

How To Show Your Depression Is A Disability

While some of these conditions seem to be clear cut on paper, other components are hard to prove outside of medical documentation. This is why its important to get mental health professionals involved in your treatment so that it can be clearly documented by authoritative figures who can help you secure an SSDI Award Letter.

If you do not meet any of the conditions in the Blue Book, your claim will still be evaluated as a possible medical-vocational allowance, which will take into account your medical records. These medical records will come from certified or licensed mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, clinics, or even hospitals. The recommendations of social workers and nurse practitioners do not carry much weight in this analysis in comparison to psychiatrists and psychologists, so if those professionals are not available to you, mention that in your application.

Its a good idea to confirm with your mental health professionals that their reports reflect how symptoms of depression or anxiety impacted your daily life and the effectiveness of their treatment plan. Choosing not to take medication may count against you, but being unable to get it because of its price or side effects are acceptable reasons.

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The Importance Of Getting Treatment For Depression

The SSA will review your medical records to determine if you have been prescribed any medication for your depression or bipolar disorder and whether this medication effectively controls your symptoms. If you have never been given medication, the SSA might consider your condition to be mild and not disabling.

In addition, if your doctor has recommended therapy or medication for your condition and you chose not to follow the doctor’s advice, the SSA might find you in “noncompliance.” You can be denied disability benefits for not complying with your doctor’s treatment recommendations. However, a good reason for not following a doctor’s recommendation is if you are financially unable to pay for therapy sessions. For more information, see Nolo’s article on being denied benefits for failing to follow treatment.

Are Compensation & Pension Exams A Requirement For A Depression Va Rating

Is Depression A Disability Or Disorder

The VA will typically schedule a Compensation & Pension examination, also known as a C& P before awarding your VA disability rating for depression.

This could take place at a private facility or a VA medical center.

The examiner will ask you a series of questions to get a better understanding of how this disability affects your day to day life, and then determine the rating.

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Do I Qualify For Social Security Disability

You can receive benefits for a disability like depression through SSDI or SSI, but only through SSI if you dont qualify for SSDI because you havent paid into Social Security, dont have enough work credits , and/or made below a certain amount of money. SSI is only for disabled people who have limited income.

In order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits through SSDI, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are unable to work or earn less than $1,260 a month

  • You have a qualifying disability that is considered severe

  • You have been unable to do your previous job for at least one year due to your disability

  • You cannot hold another job based on your age, education, work history, and skills because of your disability

To earn work credits, you must have held a job in the past where you paid into Social Security. The number of Social Security work credits that you earn are based on your annual wages. The amount of income required to earn a work credit changes from year to year, but you can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year. The number of work credits required to qualify for SSDI varies based on the age at which you became disabled.

If youre unsure if you qualify for SSDI, you can learn more online or by calling the Social Security Administration at . Social Security representatives are available to answer the phones Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

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.

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What Mental Illnesses Qualify For Disability

Many mental illnesses qualify for social security disability plan. Social Security has a disability handbook known as the blue book. This blue book is formally known as the Disability Evaluation under Social Security Handbook.

This handbook contains all the mental illnesses and eligibility criteria to be considered as disabilities. They are mentioned below.

The diseases include Schizophrenia, intellectual disorder, anxiety disorder, neurocognitive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and many more.

It also includes affective disorders which include depression and bipolar disorder. Persuasive developmental disorders are also included. Drug addiction is not included.

This handbook also has eligibility criteria for qualification to the disability plan. If anyone is suffering from these mental disorders and their condition meets the requirements, he/ she will automatically be granted the disability benefits.

How Can I Apply For Disability

How to Testify Effectively in a Depression Social Security Disability Hearing

If you meet the above criteria, you may qualify for disability benefits for depression. Its important to apply as soon as you can. It can take several months to receive SSDI and SSI.

Youll apply directly at your local SSA office. You may choose to hire an attorney to help prepare and file your application. Just be aware that a percentage of your benefits will then be awarded to your legal representative as compensation.

It can take up to half a year to receive a decision on your application for disability benefits. If youre approved, youll receive retroactive pay based on the date you first applied.

Many applications for disability benefits are denied by SSA. If this happens to you, you can appeal the decision in court. It can take up to 2 years to get a hearing. During this time you may consider hiring an attorney to help.

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If You Need To Talk To Someone

If you need to talk to someone, you could try these helplines and befriending services:

Scopes online community is a supportive space for disabled people, parents and carers. You can get disability advice and talk to people with similar experiences.

The Mix supports adults under 25. They have a helpline, email and live chat service. You can talk to an adviser about anything you’re worried about.

CALM runs a confidential information service. You can call or use webchat. Staff are trained to listen, support and give information. Open from 5pm to midnight.

The Silver Line is a free and confidential helpline for older people. They provide information, friendship and advice to older people. It’s open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

SupportLine is a charity for people at risk or in abusive situations.

Nextdoor is an organisation that can help you to meet people in your local community.

The Befriending Network has a directory of local befriending services.

Mind’s Peer Support Service links you with local people to share your experiences of mental health.

Last reviewed by Scope on: 13/09/2021

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    Read Also: How To Help A Depressed Friend Over Text

    Can I Go On Short

    You can file for short-term disability for depression but it requires a proper medical diagnosis. Youll need to have proof that the issue youve been struggling with is short-termed.

    The short-term disability is a type of disability benefit plan that provides compensation or replacement for your illness or injuries which are non-job related that makes it impossible to work for a limited period of time.

    Note that before taking a leave for short term disability plan, you should discuss with your psychiatrist.

    The First Set Of Rules Includes The Following Conditions:

    Disability for Depression

    Your depression must limit your ability to work. It must be severe enough to create difficulty in at least two of the following areas:

  • Daily life functioning
  • Social functioning and socializing abilities
  • Ability to concentrate, pace, or persistence
  • Repeated occurrences of deterioration in your condition
  • Our medical condition must meet any two of the above requirements. Depression is a severe condition that affects the ability to concentrate and operate the normal functioning of life. A person often ends up isolating themselves. It leads to negative social interactions and can change an individuals life to a great extent.

    The part B of the first set of criteria talks about some of the common symptoms. To get SSI for depression, you must meet these criteria. Your condition must result in at least four of the following conditions. You must experience these symptoms, either consistently or occasionally:

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    What Can I Expect At A Hearing

    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.

    Getting Disability Benefits For Mental Health Issues

    The Social Security Administration acknowledges the impact that anxiety and depression disorders can have on a persons ability to make a living and get by in society. Both of these families of conditions are considered qualifying medical disorders for establishing eligibility for disability payments.

    The process of applying for disability with anxiety or depression is the same as it is for physical disabilities. In order to get benefits, you must submit an application with the Social Security office in your local area. Be prepared to submit documentation of your condition from a doctor or psychiatrist who has treated you. Ask relatives, friends and people who know you whether they can write brief statements about how your mental health and ability to function have been affected by the anxiety or depression. These statements are not definitive, but they can help paint a whole picture for the disability eligibility reviewers.

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    Is There A Social Security Listing For Depression

    The most common way that someone can be awarded Social Security Disability benefits for depression is to show that he or she meets the Social Security Listing for depression. A Social Security Listing is a very specific set of medically documented findings, symptoms, and objective evidence.

    If someone can prove, through medical evidence, that they meet a listing, then it is not necessary to prove anything more. That is, they dont need to prove that they cannot do their past relevant work or prove that they cannot do any other work in the regional or national economy, as is the case with most other claims.

    The Social Security Listing for depression can be found at 12.04. This listing requires that the person applying for disability have medically documented evidence of at least five of the following symptoms:

    • Depressed mood
    • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
    • Difficulty concentrating or thinking and/or
    • Thoughts of death or suicide.

    Once these symptoms have been medically documented, you will also need to show that you have an extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:

    • Understanding, remembering, and/or applying information
    • Interacting with others
    • Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
    • Adapting and managing oneself

    For professional help in the application or appeals process, contact a disability lawyer fromNolan & Shafer, PLC. We can be reached at or via ouronline contact form.

    How Are Mental And Emotional Conditions Determined As Disabling By Ssa Reviewers

    How to file a VA Disability Claim for Depression, Aggression, or other Mental Disorders

    To evaluate a mental disability or an emotional disability, SSA reviewers refer to the Blue Book to determine if a claimants symptoms match the criteria of a specific mental illness listed this book. The SSAs Blue Book is their official listing of all medical conditions and impairments that could be prevent someone from working. Mental and emotional conditions listed in the Blue Book include:

    • Anxiety disorders
    • Intellectual disorders
    • Major depression

    If chronic anxiety disorders or a mental disability is not as severe as Blue Book listings require, an applicant may still qualify for a medical-vocational allowance if the mental health issue prevents them from working. SSA reviewers will then determine if the applicants mental residual functional capacity indicates they suffer from functional, social or intellectual limitations that make it impossible for them to work full-time.

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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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    Provincial Income Support Benefits For Depression

    Each province in Canada pays income support benefits to people who cant work because of disability. If you qualify, you can receive fixed payments for life.

    You can qualify for provincial benefits even if youve never worked. However, they only apply if your total family income falls below a certain amount. That amount differs from province to province. Family income doesnt affect the approval process for other types of disability benefits.

    You apply for provincial disability benefits by applying through your provincial agency or program. As usual, your doctor will need to provide a report or certificate that confirms you cant work because of your condition.

    If you get denied, you can appeal internally within the agency or program. In some provinces, you can also appeal to an outside tribunal for a final decision. Check with your province for the proper procedures.

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