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

Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

It is often the case that applicants who apply for disability benefits in Illinois do not have the best medical record profile. What do I mean by this? Simply the following:A) not having recent medical records; B) not having extensively developed medical records, C) not having a history of treatment for a particular physical or mental impairment.

For item A, this is often the result of not having access to medical treatment, due to a lack of health insurance coverage, and an inability to pay for treatment out-of-pocket. Regarding item B, this may be the result of deficient documentation, such as a physician who poorly documents a patient's treatment. Item C, however, often applies to individuals who file for disability based on depression, or file for disability on the basis of a number of conditions, one of which is depression.

As a disability examiner for the social security administration, I saw both types of applications. On applications for which depression was listed as a single or primary allegation, there was sometimes very little history of treatment, or a history of treatment that was either A) very short-lived and in the past or B) only recently begun. In cases involving a disability application for which depression was listed in a secondary sense, there was, very often, almost no history of treatment aside from a prescription being filled by a general practitioner.

As I said in an earlier post, a claimant's medical records are crucial and central, as they form the basis for every approval of a disability case, and, likewise, every disability denial. However, the specificity of one's medical treatment (and the medical records that are derived from such treatment) is important as well.

What do I mean by this? Simply that if you have depression, are being treated for depression, and are listing depression as an impairment on a disability application, you need to be in the position of presenting records from a psychiatrist to fully enhance your case. This may be conceptually problematic for some individuals who believe that they require nothing more than the prescriptions that are routinely filled by their treating physician, or who are averse to establishing a relationship with a qualified mental health professional. However, for a disability claim based on depression, a claimant needs to show:

1. A history of mental health problems (in this case, a medically documented history of depression).

2. A history of treatment provided by a qualified mental health professional (you may receive counseling from a Ph.D. level psychologist, but social security considers records from a physician to be pre-eminent. And that means records from a psychiatrist, as all psychiatrists are M.D.s

In brief, the office notes of a family doctor who prescribes an anti-depressant simply will not cut it for disability evaluation purposes because such notes will not sufficently document a claimant's psychiatric problems and history of mental health treatment. Such records will also generally fail to document a claimant's functional limitations as a result of depression. And lastly, of course, such records will not emanate from what is considered to be an appropriate source of treatment, i.e. a psychiatrist.

The post following this one (or possibly several posts from now) briefly describes what happens when a claimant files for disability based on depression and has little to no history of treatment for depression, or an insufficient record of documentation.

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?

Filing for disability in Illinois

Applying for disability in Illinois

How do you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Filing for disability in Illinois, when to file

After you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Are you automatically denied for SSDI or SSI in Illinois when you first apply?

Filing Illinois request for reconsideration after denied

Will I Qualify For Disability Benefits in Illinois?

Options after Social Security Disability is Denied in Illinois

Hiring a Qualified Disability Lawyer in Illinois

Do you need a lawyer for a Disability Claim in Illinois?

Disability attorneys, lawyers in Illinois

Choosing a Disability Attorney in Illinois

What will an Illinois disability attorney do?

Will hiring a disability attorney in Illinois get me a disability award?

Social Security Disability Representatives and help in Illinois

Social Security Claims and Disability Lawyers in Illinois

Illinois disability appeals

Filing a disability appeal in Illinois

Which disability appeal to file in Illinois

How many disability appeals do you get in Illinois?

Getting a Disability Appeal on time in Illinois

Eligibility, approvals, and qualifications in Illinois

How to Qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois

Can a Specific Medical Problem get you Approved for Disability in Illinois?

Eligibility and Qualifications for Disability in Illinois

Can you get disability approved in Illinois at the reconsideration level?

Miscellaneous questions about SSD SSI in Illinois

Can you get disability in Illinois on your first try?

How many Social Security Disability and SSI cases get denied in Illinois?

Disability denial in Illinois, when to get a lawyer

Social Security Disability Waiting period in Illinois

Will I lose my SSDI SSI disability benefits in Illinois when my case is reviewed?

Illinois disability hearings

How to Prepare for a Disability Hearing in Illinois

Odds of disability approval in Illinois better at a hearing vs reconsideration

Illinois disability attorney representation after being denied

Illinois mental disability

Approved for disability in Illinois with a mental condition

Mental testing for an SSDI or SSI disability claim in Illinois

Filing for Disability with depression in Illinois

Illinois disability decisions

Who makes the SSD or SSI decision in Illinois

How long does it take to get a disability decision in Illinois?

What is the Social Security Disability decision making process in Illinois?

Illinois disability, working and work credits

Work credits in Illinois to be covered for Social Security Disability

How to get your disability status in Illinois

If you get and receive disability benefits in Illinois, can you work?

Can you apply for Social Security Disability or SSI in Illinois if you are working?

Illinois disability denials

Why is Social Security Disability and SSI Denied in Illinois?

Denied on a Disability Reconsideration in Illinois

Illinois Disability Claim was Denied, Should I Reapply?

Denied the second time for Social Security Disability in Illinois

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.