Thursday, October 18, 2007

Depression Social Security Disability SSI - Applying for Disability

Depression does not have a specific listing in the social security administration's impairment listing manual. Instead, it is given consideration in listing 12.04, Affective Disorders. To qualify for either social security disability or SSI disability benefits on the basis of this listing, a claimant's medical records must satisfy at least one of the following two sets of criteria.

The first set of criteria is as follows:

1. Depressive syndrome that results in marked restrictions or difficulties in at least two of the following:

a) activities of daily living.
b) social functioning.
c) the ability to maintain concentration, persistence, or pace.
d) a repeated occurrence in decompensation episodes, with each episode having extended duration.

2. Depressive syndrome that is characterized, either continuously or intermittently, by at least four of the following:

a) Anhedonia (the inability to experience pleasure) or a lost interest in nearly all activities, to the extent that this could be described as pervasive.
b) appetite disturbance with weight changes.
c) disburbances in sleep.
d) agitation or retardation of psychomotor function.
e) a decrease in energy levels.
f) guilt feelings or feelings of worthlessness.
g) suicidal thoughts.
h) difficulty when it comes to thinking or concentration.
i) delusional or hallucinatory occurrences, or paranoid thinking.

Satisfying the criteria as indicated above may lead to an approval of disability benefits based on depression. An approval may also be granted by satisfying the requirements of this second set of criteria.

1. A history of depression, lasting at least two years, documented by medical records.

2. The records must indicate that the claimant's depression has resulted in more than a minimal limitation of ability to engage in basic work activity, with some attenuation (weakening or decrease) of the symptoms or signs of depression as a
result of treatment (psychosocial support or prescribed medicine).

3. Evidence of repeat episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration OR evidence of a residual disease process for which even a minimal increase in mental demands or changes to the environment would be forecast to result in decompensation, OR evidence of the individual's inability to live, for at least one year, outside of a highly supported living arrangement, with signs that such a living arrangement needs to be continued.

Obviously, to satisfy the requirements of the Affective Disorders listing on the basis of depression, an applicant for social security disability or SSI must be able to provide strong medical record documentation. Not surprisingly, it can be fairly difficult to get approved for benefits based on this listing.

Can you be approved for SSD or SSI if you have depression and do not qualify based on the requirements of this listing. Yes, it is possible to be approved by being given a medical vocational allowance.

The following links leads to pages that discuss various aspects of the disability system and the text below, of course, discusses depression in a general sense. For additional information on the disability system, you may wish to visit (the link to the site is at the top of the page).

1. Filing for Disability based on Depression and Medical Evidence
2. Have you worked enough years to qualify for SSD?
3. If Denied Social Security Disability
4. Representation on a disability Claim
5. Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied?
6. Can I improve my chances of winning disability ?
7. Why is it hard to get approved for social security disability with a mental condition?

What follows is basic information on Depression:

(however, two other pages that may be useful are the following: Mental testing when you apply for disability with Depression and Filing for Disability based on Depression and Medical Evidence).

There are three main classifications of depression: depression with melancholy, depression with atypical symptoms, and depression with psychotic symptoms.

Depression with melancholy symptoms is characterized by loss of pleasure, excessive guilt, anorexia, failure to respond to pleasurable stimuli, or psychomotor retardation.

What is depression? Depression is generally described as a condition that involves severe sadness, melancholia or hopelessness. Depression may be a single episode or recurrent episodes throughout an individual’s life. Depression will affect about eighteen percent of all individuals one time in their life prior to age forty.

Statistics indicate that clinical depression may be the leading source of disability in the United States and Canada. Additionally, it has been suggested by the World Health Organization that clinical depression may be second only to heart disease as a cause for disability by the 2020.

Depression with atypical symptoms is characterized by weight gain, increased appetite, excessive sleep, or social impairment. Contrary to its name, this type of depression is the most common form of depression.

Depression with psychotic symptoms is characterized by hallucinations or delusions. However most individuals experience delusional symptoms rather than visual or auditory hallucinations.

There is evidence that suggests that depression may run in families, although there may be environmental factors as well.

What are the treatment options for individuals who suffer from depression? Individuals with affective disorders, such as depression, benefit from a treatment plan that includes medication and psychotherapy.

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