We do not request reimbursement of costs
(such as repayment for obtaining medical records)
from veterans nor from people who suffer from multiple sclerosis.

Is Long-Term Depression Making You Disabled?

Illness is part of life, but it can become a problem if it is chronic or prevents you from earning a living. Disability can occur at any age and to anyone. 

Depression is a constant feeling of sadness and hopelessness, lasting for an extended period of time: days, weeks, months, or even years. Depression can negatively affect the quality of life for a person who suffers from it, and it can have many causes. Some of the most common causes of depression include loss of a loved one, divorce or separation, loss of a job, financial troubles, or physical illness.

The Connection Between Disability and Depression 

The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book does not specifically address depression as an automatic qualification for sufferers to receive benefits. But when a person is depressed, it can affect their ability to work or prevent them from performing their daily activities. An individual may be eligible for disability for depression if they are disabled due to this psychological condition. 

For example, someone suffering from depression may not be able to work in a factory or office environment, and it may prevent them from finding other work that may be more suitable.

To qualify for benefits, your depression must result in restrictions and difficulties in at least one of the following areas:

  • Daily living activities
  • Maintaining concentration, pace, and persistence
  • Social functioning
  • Deterioration of mental condition

You should experience at least four of the symptoms listed below:

  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Changes in weight or eating habits
  • Agitation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Reduced function
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Decreased levels of energy
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Difficulty in thinking and concentrating 
  • Hallucinatory thoughts or delusions

An attorney with sufficient experience to handle relevant disability claims can appropriately assist you. 

Symptoms of Depression

Depression can significantly affect a person’s professional life. This disease can cause people to lose interest in activities that previously brought them joy and may make it difficult to concentrate. It can either be caused by a person’s genetics or environmental factors. 

Some of the most common symptoms of depression include:

  • Sadness
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty in concentrating
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Loss of interest in people and activities
  • Increased anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthless or hopelessness
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts

Steps to File a Disability Claim

While depression can be disabling, there are treatments that may alleviate the condition, such as medication or psychotherapy. Some people may find relief by changing their diet, exercising, spending time outdoors, or socializing with friends.

However, if the condition is too severe and none of the treatments your doctor has prescribed have helped you, it may be time to claim disability benefits. Just keep in mind that the SSA does not include any separate or exclusive listing for depression. It can be considered an impairment under Section 12.04.

Will the SSA Provide Benefits for Your Depression?

Partial disability cannot qualify you for SSA benefits. However, if your condition is clinically proven to restrict your day-to-day work, you may be eligible.

It can be helpful to have a Social Security disability lawyer by your side when you apply for benefits. A seasoned attorney with in-depth knowledge can guide you through the process and find a way for you to get the benefits that you deserve.