In the United States, depression is regarded as the second most common medical condition that is listed on applications for Social Security disability. It manifests in various ways such as a type of mood disorder manifesting in form of sadness, and feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness in addition to feelings of fatigue and decreased energy levels. You experience loss of interest in things that were previously enjoyable. Lack of motivation for those suffering from depression can be a crucial limitation with regards to work thus affecting the ability to complete tasks. The effects render an individual unable to function effectively in their everyday social life, work and family activities hence the issue of disability due to depression.
Depression and Disability Benefits
As a person suffering from depression, you must fulfill certain requirements that have been put in place in the disability manual in order to qualify for such benefits. Alternatively you can receive medical-vocational on the basis of the severity of your situation. However, other considerations such as age, employment background, other disabilities and educational background play a vital role.
Depression is covered in the manual list which also provides for a list of symptoms and functional problems you must have. Thus, to meet the criteria laid down and consequently qualify for disability funds or benefits under this category, there is need to prove acute depression using at least five of the following symptoms:
· Sleep disturbance: can be oversleeping or insomnia;
· Difficulty concentrating or thinking;
· Depressed mood;
· Decreased zeal to take part in daily activities;
· Loss of appetite resulting in either weight gain or loss;
· You start feeling ashamed or undeserving;
· Suicidal thoughts among others.
Despite meeting the above criteria, you must also meet the “functional” criteria in order to prove that you have extreme loss of abilities due to the mental disorder. These functional aspects are being unable to concentrate, understand, remember, or applying information and sometimes even interacting with others or managing oneself.
If you do not meet the requirements above and the reviewer finds that your depression isn’t that severe it might decide to approve you for another category. The SS Personnel consider how your depression level affects your ability to undertake any type of unskilled work.
Note: If depression is the only impairment relied on during the disability application then there is no guarantee of success. However, if you have this condition in addition to inflicted body injuries or another psychological issue, there is enormous possibility.
In the event it is concluded that the limitations caused by your depression or a combination of mental impairments make it impossible for you to engage in unskilled work then you will be entitled to disability benefits. Similarly, if they are of the opinion that you have the mental capacity to perform unskilled work, but suffer from physical impairment requiring you do sit-down work then you could get disability benefits.
Getting an Attorney Involved
Where you feel that your request was unreasonably denied, you can appeal. However, it is important you consult a disability attorney to assist you with the appeal to increase your chances for approval. Tabak Law has a plethora of knowledge and experience, and an evaluation is risk-free.