Social Security Disability Benefits: Proving Disability for Depression

According to the San Francisco Gate, there are approximately 19 million Americans who are living with major depression.

For many, major depression is a debilitating health issue that can affect their daily lives, including having an affect on their work lives. Major depression that can require treatment ranging from therapy to medications.

If filing for Social Security disability benefits based on major depression, there are a few things to know.

Social Security is looking for people who are severely depressed. These are people who have made continual complaints to their health care providers, therapists or mental health doctors.

Proving depression involves seeking out the help of a mental health professional and seeing them regularly, keeping records of office visits, not missing appointments and complying with any treatment that is recommended.

These are all important, as a lack of treatment may indicate that the person is able to manage their depression on their own. In other words, the depression is not debilitating.

Records from health professionals should also show that a minimum of four symptoms have continued despite attempts to treat the depression.

Symptoms include sleep disturbance, loss of interest in activities, changes in weight associated with changes in appetite, loss of energy, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of guilt, psychomotor agitation or retardation, thoughts of suicide, difficulty with concentration, hallucinations, delusions or paranoia.

Symptoms must also be persistent for a minimum of 12 months.

Applicants of disability due to depression must also prove that drugs and alcohol are not contributing to the issue at hand. It is important for applicants to stay sober for a minimum of 6 months prior to applying.

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