Serving Orange County, L.A. County and the Inland Empire. Conveniently located in Anaheim.
The Law Offices of Martin Taller
Call to speak to us now: 714-450-6689
Free consultations. Se Habla Español
Call to speak to us now
714-450-6689
Free consultations. Se Habla Español

Depression and Social Security benefits

Many Americans suffer from clinical depression, a prolonged feeling of helplessness that affects the ability to be a functioning member of society. It's a serious condition and it's widespread. The National Institute of Mental health says that 6.7% of all US adults suffered from at least one episode during the 2015 year.

Social Security Disability covers any ailment with long-term effects on the ability to earn a living: physical or mental. With depression so common and so well known, it raises the question: When is it eligible for Social Security Insurance?

While the core principle of Social Security Disability offers promise to the clinically depressed, it comes with the caveat that your condition is indisputable. Proving mental illness is challenging because, unlike a physical ailment, the symptoms are more abstract. Furthermore, a depressed individual is less likely to successfully argue his case because the illness itself affects his ability to do so.

SSA requirements

Both the impact and severity of mental conditions is difficult to prove, and the Social Security Administration has tiered criteria that a subject must meet.

Extended or repeated episodes are clear evidence of a problem, but SSA requires them to be backed up with systematic documentation.

Depression symptoms must include a combination of:

  • Lack of interest in activities and daily life
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Lack of appetite or overeating
  • Irregular sleep patterns (such as insomnia or oversleeping)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness or guilt
  • Paranoia, delusions or hallucinations
  • Suicidal thoughts or acts

Along with these symptoms, there also needs to be evidence that your depression influences your daily life and sociability, including:

  • The ability to focus on a task
  • The ability to maintain daily functions
  • The ability to function socially with others

The indirect effects of depression

While popular culture focuses on the "depressed" in depression, the inability to carry out routine tasks like eating, sleeping or hygiene will seep into important daily matters, negatively affecting employment and social relationships. Depression has far reaching consequences that can render a subject unable to work and unable to interact with others, just like with physical disabilities.

Because the process is complicated and the severity is difficult to determine without proper documentation, many suffering from mental illnesses are denied benefits when they first file. Working with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help to understand the process and the paperwork, eliminating the likelihood of filing appeals. When you're in the midst of a depressive episode, you don't have time to wait for a mountain of forms to be collated, you need someone who will act on your behalf to ensure helpful resources.

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The Law Offices Of Martin Taller

2300 E. Katella Ave. Suite 440
Anaheim, CA 92806

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