The Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI) program provides financial assistance for persons who suffer from various mental illnesses. One of the most common forms of mental illness is depression. Persons who suffer from acute depression are often unable to perform the normal duties of their job. Understanding the eligibility standards for SSDI benefits based upon depression may help a person suffering from depression decide whether to submit an application for these benefits.
Basis eligibility standards.
The first requirement for obtaining any form of SSDI benefit is a demonstration that a person’s ability to work has been permanently and completely limited by an illness or injury. The disability must be permanent or must stem from a condition that is likely to cause the claimant’s death within 12 months. A person may be able to work, but if the person earns more than $1,310 per month that person is not considered to be disabled. The condition must significantly limit a person’s ability to do the fundamental tasks of any job, such as lifting, standing, walking, sitting or remembering. The Social Security Administration has listed a large number of medical conditions that may be considered to result in permanent and total disability.
Specific conditions for proving that depression has caused a disability
The claimant must produce medical documentation of five or more of the following behavioral characteristics: depressed mood, diminished interest in almost all activities, appetite disturbance, sleep disturbance, observable psychomotor agitation or retardation, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, difficulty concentrating or thinking, or thoughts of death or suicide. Bi-polar disorder, which often goes hand-in-hand with depression has a list of qualifying behavioral disorders, including pressured speech, flight of ideas, inflated self-esteem, decreased need for sleep, distractibility, or increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation. The applicant must also demonstrate either an extreme limitation or marked limitation in his ability to understand, remember or apply information, interact with other, concentrate, persist, or maintain pace and adapt or manage oneself.
SSDI claims for depression
The SSDI eligibility requirements for depression that are outlined above are subject to a number of qualifications that are stated in the SSDI regulations. An attorney with experience in obtaining SSDI benefits can offer very useful assistance in filling out the initial application and in assembling the required medical profession documentation. In the event that the initial application is denied (most are), a capable lawyer can help with the SSDI appeal process.