Approximately 17 million people a year struggle with depression each year in the United States. For some people, the disease can become so debilitating that it impacts their ability to make a living. Unfortunately, having depression does not guarantee that you can successfully file for disability benefits. Here are the factors the Social Security Administration looks at to judge whether or not you qualify.
One of the most important parts of proving that you are entitled to receiving disability payments is getting the help of your doctor. The doctor will need to write a statement and provide medical records that back up your claim that your mental condition is so severe that you are unable to work.
The longer you have been seeing the therapist, the better for your case. While you are waiting for a decision on your benefits, continue to see your therapist. You will need a solid history of treatment to help support your claim.
Length of Time
In order to receive benefits based on depression, you must show that you have had the disease at least one year. It also has to be so severe that you have been unable to work for that period of time.
Your medical records will be carefully reviewed when you apply for benefits. If you have up and down days, it is important that you are honest about them with the Social Security Administration. If your ups and downs have been noted by the therapist treating you and you do not explain them from the beginning, your claim could be denied.
One of the indicators that your depression is a serious condition affecting your daily life that the Social Security Administration will look for is whether or not you are taking medication or some form of therapy to control your symptoms. If you have not undergone any treatment outside of talking to the therapist, the agency might not take your claim seriously.
Drugs and Alcohol
If your depression is the result of drug or alcohol use, you might face an even greater challenge with qualifying for disability benefits. Disability is not given to people who have disorders that are the result of drug and alcohol abuse.
You and your doctor have to prove to the Social Security Administration that your condition is independent of your drug or alcohol use. If possible, work towards sobriety. Your sobriety could show that you still have symptoms despite not using drugs or alcohol.
The best way to determine if your depression could possibly be a reason that you get disability is to talk to an attorney such as Iler and Iler. The attorney is skilled at assessing cases and can help you file all of the papers necessary.
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