Can I receive SSD for depression?

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2022 | Mental Impairments, Social Security Disability

Millions of Americans suffer from depression, which causes anxiety, fatigue and several other symptoms that make it difficult for them to go to work. For some, the depression is so debilitating that they are unable to keep a job altogether.

Social Security Disability benefits may be an option for those who are unable to work due to their depression.

Qualifying for SSD based on depression

California residents with depression who qualify for disability benefits must meet the criteria in the Social Security Administration’s list of qualifying conditions, known as the SSD Blue Book.

According to Section 12.04 of the Blue Book, people with depression may qualify for disability benefits if they have at least five of the listed symptoms. Some of those symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of interest in most or all activities
  • Poor appetite or overeating
  • Inability to sleep or oversleeping
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness/guilt
  • Thoughts of suicide or death
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Once you have shown that you have at least five of the above-listed symptoms, you will need to show that your condition has limited your ability to perform at work. You will need to show extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas (or marked limitation in at least two areas):

  • Understanding, applying, or recalling information
  • Engaging with others appropriately
  • Ability to concentrate and maintain pace with tasks
  • Caring for oneself

Proving that you are entitled to SSD benefits based on a mental disability or disorder can be challenging. An attorney specializing in applying for SSD benefits can help you gather the documentation you need, including medical records and notes from treating physicians and other medical professionals, to establish your condition, as well as your inability to work.

Your physician may also fill out a residual functional capacity (RFC) form to lay out your physical and mental limitations and abilities.