Can You Get Disability for Depression in Michigan & Ohio?
Can you really get government financial assistance because you have depression?
Many people see depression as a common experience—everybody goes through a down period at one time or another and then moves on. But for the purposes of winning Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, and the monthly checks that come with them, is depression a disability?
If you’ve gone through major depressive symptoms, you know too well that this is a seriously limiting mental illness worthy of any help you can get. The problem is getting others to understand that.
Depression is, in fact, something millions of people live with, and not just temporary sadness, but major depression. The National Institute of Mental Health recently estimated that 21 million adults in the United States—8.4 percent of all adults—have episodes of major depression.
Social Security also recognizes depression as a health problem that can qualify you for disability benefits. When you’re coping with such a difficult health challenge, these benefits can give you the basic foundation of stability that you need to take care of yourself and your well-being.
So the question is: How do you get disability benefits for depression?
It’s about your symptoms, your medical evidence and painting a picture for Social Security about how your depression requires you to be out of work for the long term.
If you’re in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Toledo, or anywhere in Michigan or Ohio, you can talk to the disability lawyers at Levine Benjamin Law Firm about how you might get Social Security Disability for depression.
Our firm has helped more than 80,000 people over decades of service to our neighbors. From applying to appealing, we help you every step of the way.
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Is Depression a Disability? These are the SSD Requirements
The Social Security Administration has an official listing of impairments that qualify for disability benefits (people sometimes call it the “Blue Book”) that includes “depressive, bipolar and related disorders.”
This listing serves as a guide for how you can build your disability claim for depression. You may have your own way of explaining your condition to people close to you, but for Social Security you have to present it a certain way to be approved for benefits.
A Social Security Disability attorney helps with this.
Social Security says you must demonstrate that you have at least five of these symptoms:
- Suppressed mood
- Lost interest in activities
- Eating and weight changes
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in movement—either slower or more frantic
- Low energy
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Inability to focus your thinking
- Suicidal thoughts
In addition, you must show you can’t function in at least one of these areas, or you’re limited in two of them:
- Using information
- Dealing with other people
- Regulating your behavior and emotions
Or you can demonstrate a two-year or longer history of this:
- You’ve had therapy, treatment, structured settings and supports that reduce your depression symptoms.
- But you still struggle to adapt to changes in the world around you and new demands in your life.
How do you piece all of this together? A disability lawyer can do it for you—at no fee until you win benefits.
Since depression is such a complicated condition, you may still ask: Can you get disability for depression in your particular situation?
We’ll listen to you and talk it over—with no cost or obligation to you.
Proving Your Social Security Disability Claim for Depression with Evidence
It’s not enough just to tell Social Security that you have the symptoms above. You have to prove it—because Social Security is always under pressure to make sure only deserving people get benefits.
How do you prove it? With medical and other evidence—usually information coming from someone other than you confirming all the ways that depression impacts your daily life.
These are several kinds of evidence to gather:
- Paperwork showing your diagnosis
- A history of your psychological health
- Mental status exam results from medical professionals
- Physical exam results
- Psychological testing results
- Medical imaging
- Lab tests
- List of your medications
- Side effects of medications
- Description of your therapy course
- Statements from people who know you personally
- Statements from people who know you through school or work
We know. It’s a lot of work to prove you can’t work.
When you’re depressed, the load is that much heavier.
This is one of the main purposes of a Social Security Disability lawyer: taking on the work to make the process easier for you.
At Levine Benjamin, we got into this type of law because we get to see people getting support, relief, and a better outlook on the future.
Can you get disability for depression? Talk to us about it.