Filing an Application for Disability Benefits
How do you win disability benefits?
If I am determined disabled, how far back will Social Security pay benefits?
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Denial of benefits
How to File for Disability - Tips for Filing
If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
How much is paid for the Social Security Disability Attorney Fee?
Social Security Disability SSI Criteria and the Evaluation Process
How long does it take to be approved for SSI or Social Security disability?
Qualifying: What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability?
Applying for disability for Fibromyalgia
Filing for disability with Degenerative Disc Disease
Can I Qualify For Disability on the basis of Depression?
Answers to questions about SSD and SSI disability
What Disabilities Qualify for SSI and Social Security Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status
Medical Documentation when you apply for disability with depression
How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits
In every disability case, the decision to grant or to deny benefits is based on one thing: the information contained in your medical records. Your medical records are the foundation of every disability decision; regardless of if you are applying on the basis of a physical condition or a mental condition; regardless of if your benefits will be paid out of the social security disability (SSD) or supplemental security income (SSI) program.
Medical documentation may be especially important to those who are filing for disability benefits due to depression. Too often claimants believe that a prescription from their family doctor for antidepressants is all that they need to establish that they are suffering from debilitating depression, but this is absolutely not the case.
If you are suffering from depression to the point where it is affecting your ability to perform your work duties, or to hold a job for that matter, then you should file for social security disability benefits. However, you should first make an appointment with a qualified psychiatrist, who can confirm that A) you suffer from depression, and B) your symptoms are severe enough to prevent you from working at any job, and C) your symptoms are likely to continue, regardless of treatment, for a period of not less than 12 months. Without an opinion supporting these facts from a qualified mental health physician, you are highly unlikely to be approved for SSD or SSI.
It can be difficult for those with a history of depression to seek psychiatric treatment. Many do not wish to be labeled mentally ill, and yet without that label, they will have no chance of getting disability benefits. Also, as well-meaning as your family physician may be, he or she is not considered to be an expert on mental health issues, at least not by the social security administration. Only an MD in Psychiatry (not a psychologist) will be able to render an opinion as to your mental symptoms, how they affect your ability to perform work, and how they may or may not be helped by prescription medication, which will carry enough weight with a disability examiner to strongly influence his or her decision.
Even if depression is only a contributing factor to your disability, you must see a psychiatrist if you want to have this allegation play any real part in the disability examiner’s decision-making process. If you do not have health insurance, there are some psychiatric facilities that treat patients for free or on a sliding-scale (you pay what you can afford) basis. You can call your local office of social services (the number is available from your county health department) for a listing of such facilities.
Do not hesitate to seek help if you feel that your depression is having a negative impact on your work performance. Not only is it in your best interest emotionally, but it is also in your best interest financially—you will need to supply a written opinion supporting your claim of debilitating depression, from a qualified psychiatrist, to the disability examiner assigned to your disability case.
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