Harlan Still & Koch

Can you get Social Security Disability benefits for depression?

While physical disabilities may be a visible representation of someone’s inability to consistently perform certain job-related tasks, mental health problems can be more difficult to recognize. But if you suffer from a mental disorder as defined by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you may be eligible to receive Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.

How are mental disorders categorized?

The SSA categorizes mental disorders into 11 groupings. The wide range of qualifying disorders includes anxiety, depressive and trauma-related disorders.  

To gain SSD eligibility for a depressive disorder, you must have a documented history of medical treatment over the course of at least two years. Documentation of your decline may be required.

Medical documentation could include symptoms such as:

  • Significant changes in body weight
  • Reported thoughts of suicide
  • Disturbances in your sleep
  • Reduction of processing capabilities or physical movements
  • Changes in energy level

How can major depression affect a person’s overall quality of life?

Those who haven’t struggled with depression may question those who claim a mental health disorder. However, clinical depression can affect every aspect of your life.

The physical manifestation of depression may include:

  • Pain in your arms and legs
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • Tiredness
  • Joint pain

In many people, the use of medications can ease the symptoms of diagnosed depressive disorders. For others, medication may not alleviate all symptoms.

If you have a depressive disorder which prohibits your ability to work, you may want help qualifying for benefits. In addition to submitting your initial application, there’s a possibility that you’ll need to appeal the denial of your benefits or attend a hearing. Though there may be multiple steps involved in your application process, it could result in easing your financial burdens through SSD.

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Harlan Still & Koch

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Columbia, MO 65201

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