Is Depression a Disability?

Yes, depression is considered a disability by the SSA. This is because a person suffering from depression will have difficulty going to work until he or she has fully recovered from depression. This could take many months, even years - and maybe not at all if it is impossible to solve the depression because of its severity. If this has happened to you it is possible to qualify for a disability benefit which reduces your financial suffering while unable to work due to your medical condition. Your medical records must meet at least one of the two sets of requirements below in order to be eligible for a disability payment based on an effective order. 

Is Depression a Disability?

The SSA does consider depression to be a potential disability. To get a disability benefit for depression you’ll need to meet a Blue Book listing and provide enough medical evidence to prove your symptoms prevent you from working for at least 12 months. Although depression is not specifically listed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) in its Impairment Listing Manual or "Blue Book," the illness is taken into consideration under Section 12.04 Affective Disorders.

Your medical records must meet at least one of the two sets of requirements below in order to be eligible for a disability payment based on an effective order. 

 You must experience significant limitations in at least two of the following areas as a result of your depression:

  • Ability to hold concentration
  • Taking part in daily living activities
  • Show that you are deteriorating due to depression
  • Social functioning

Your depression must also exhibit at least four of the following signs: 

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Noticeable changes in weight and eating habits
  • Lowering of energy levels
  • Inability to experience pleasure
  • Hallucinatory events, delusions, or paranoid thoughts
  • Feeling worthlessness or guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulties with concentrating or thinking

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Types of Depression That Are Considered a Disability

  • Major depression is when you feel depressed most of the time, for most days of the week.
  • Anxious depression is when you feel tense and restless most days.
  • Melancholy is when you feel so sad that you lose interest in the activities you used to enjoy. You feel bad even when good things happen. You may experience sleep loss, weight loss, and feel suicidal.
  • Agitated is when you rarely feel at ease and you may talk too much, pace around a room too often and act impulsively.
  • Persistent depressive disorder is when the depression lasts for at least 2 years.

How to Get a Disability Benefit for Depression

As soon as you have found the symptoms of your depression in the SSA Blue Book you may prepare your claim for disability benefits. This means providing your doctor’s medical report which shows you are suffering from a serious form of depression,

Get Help with Your Disability Claim

To help ensure your disability claim may not be denied you should seek help from a disability attorney who will ensure your evidence is sufficient for your claim to be accepted. Complete the Free Case Evaluation to get connected with an independent, participating attorney who subscribes to the website.

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Additional Resources

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