How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How do you apply for disability if you have depression?

The Social Security Disability application process is the same no matter what your disabling condition is. If your depression problems have kept you from performing substantial gainful work activity for twelve months or you expect to be unable to work for at least twelve months due to the symptoms of your depression, you should contact Social Security for an appointment to file for disability.

Currently, you can file an application for disability benefits by phone, in person at your local Social Security office, or in some cases online (at this point in time you can only file for Social Security Disability online not SSI).

If you chose to file your disability claim by phone or in person at your local Social Security office, your claim will be taken by a claims representative. This is true for disability claims filed online as well.

If you want to file for SSI, you will have to speak with a claims representative. Since many claims are concurrent (meaning they involve both SSI and Social Security Disability), it does make sense to skip the online process and file your claim by phone or in person.

The Disability Interview

During your disability interview, a claims representative will ask you questions about your medical treatment sources (i.e. physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, hospitals, or any other medical professional who has treated you for your depression), the medications you are currently taking along with any side effects, and any medical testing you have had.

Preparing for the disability interview

You should come to your appointment prepared to give your doctor’s names, addresses, phone numbers, and your treatment dates.

In addition to medical information, the claims representative will ask questions about your previous fifteen years of work. You do not have to remember the names of all your places of employment but you do need to know the types of work you did, what you were paid, and how many hours you worked.

Social Security has to develop work information because it is part of the disability evaluation process. To be approved for disability, you must have a severe condition that not only prevents your return to any of your past work but precludes any other work performed in the national economy (other work evaluations involve your age, education, your functional limitations and the transferability of your work skills).

If you have problems with your memory, write your medical and work information on a piece of paper or on the green disability information sheet provided by Social Security to help you prepare for your disability interview (sometimes they do not get this to you so list them on paper if necessary).

If you are filing for SSI disability, you should come prepared to answer questions about your income and resources. The SSI disability program requires the same medical information and work information along with your financial information. Income for the purposes of your SSI disability application might include wages, pensions, rental income, investment income, short and long term disability benefits, workman’s compensation, or any other kind of income.

If you meet the income limits for SSI, you still have one other hurdle to get over to be eligible for this needs based disability program. You have to meet the SSI resource limit. SSI disability allows you to exclude your most valuable vehicle and your home and the land it sits on. If you own any other vehicles or land not connected to the land your house sits, on it will be counted toward the SSI resource (asset) limit.

Additionally, other resources such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, 401k plans, burial plots, inheritances, heir land, or any other resource that can be easily converted to cash, are counted toward the resource limit as well.

Currently, Social Security allows individuals to have two thousand dollars in resources, while couples are allowed three thousand dollars in resources.

The claims representative uses all of this information to evaluate your eligibility for Social Security and SSI disability, and to complete all necessary disability report forms so that your disability claim can be sent for a disability decision.

If you meet the eligibility requirements of both disability programs, your disability claim will be sent for a concurrent decision (meaning they make a decision for both SSDI and SSI disability at the same time). If not, your disability claim will be sent as a SSDI-only or SSI-only only disability claim to a state disability agency for a medical decision.

Additional information:

Should I List My Past Depression Medications on My Social Security Disability or SSI Application?

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Medical Documentation when you apply for disability with depression
Can I Qualify For Disability and Receive Benefits based on Depression?
Should I List My Past Depression Medications on My Social Security Disability or SSI Application?
How do you apply for disability if you have depression?
Is it hard to qualify for Social Security benefits if you have depression?
Can disability be awarded for depression for a time until I am fully recovered?
Depression, Social Security Disability, and Applying for Benefits
Dysthymia and Filing for Disability
How long does it take to hear from SSI?
Major Depressive Disorder (Depression) and Filing for Disability
How long will it take to receive my Social Security Award letter and back pay?
What conditions will qualify for disability in Missouri?
How much can you get for disability in Missouri?
Disability requirements and criteria in Missouri

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.