If you suffer from depression, you may qualify for disability benefits. While many people with depression tell themselves their problems aren't serious or that others deserve benefits more, the truth is that the government extends benefits to anyone who has an illness that makes them unable to take care of themselves. If you're struggling to make ends meet or even just to get out of bed in the mornings, you should consider filing for disabled status.
Unfortunately. being diagnosed with depression is not enough on its own for you to be considered eligible for SSI benefits. To qualify for disability consideration, your psychiatrist must testify that you suffer from at least four of the following common depression symptoms:
- lack of pleasure or interest in activities you once enjoyed
- paranoia or delusions
- suicidal thoughts
- lethargy including sluggish, fatigued movements
- inability to concentrate
- disordered eating. meaning you eat too much or too little
- disordered sleeping, meaning you sleep too little, too much, or at strange hours
If you do suffer from at least four of these conditions associated with depression, you can work with your psychiatrist to file a disability claim. However, at this stage you've only proven that your depression is serious. If you want to prove you're disabled, you'll need to show you have serious difficulty in at least one of the following areas of life.
Activities Of Daily Living (ADLs): These are the typical tasks people perform every day. Cleaning, making food, dressing, driving, shopping, and laundry are all examples of ADLs. If your depression is serious enough that you cannot complete your ADLs unattended, your disability case will be strengthened. Photos of your home and testimony from witnesses can help you demonstrate this difficulty if your case goes to court.
Social Interaction: Do you talk to others regularly? Do you have friends? Are you afraid or anxious when you go outside of your home? People with very serious depression can become shut-ins, resulting in a loss of friendships and connection to the outside world. This inability to navigate social situations unaided can be a barrier to a normal life, strengthening your case for disability.
Long-Term Healthy Functioning: People with well-managed depression can have normal function in the short term but still suffer from periodic extended episodes in which their symptoms significantly worsen. If you occasionally have a severe worsening of your symptoms that disrupts your life, you may still qualify for disability benefits even if you can cope with life at other times.
Concentration: Concentration is necessary for virtually any job. If your depression interrupts your focus frequently and seriously enough that it prevents you from working, you may qualify for benefits. Clinical focus tests and work history reports can shed some light on whether or not your concentration is suffering because of your depression.
Depression can be terrifying if you don't have the help you need, but you don't have to go it alone. Talk to a social security disability attorney, like Law Offices Of Russell J. Goldsmith, today about whether or not you qualify for disability benefits. It could be the first step you take towards a better life.