If you suffer from depression to the extent that it prohibits your ability to work, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability.  Temporary sadness would not qualify, as the depression must be chronic, or ongoing.  However, many people do suffer from chronic depression, and although mental disorders still have some stigma, you should not face your ailment alone, and you don’t have to do so.  Everyone reacts differently to everything – be it a dosage of medication, an event (like a death in the family), or any number of mental or physical changes, even situational ones.  Major clinical depression can result in no longer being interested in the simplest of pleasures or hobbies, or even a loss of appetite.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must suffer from 4 (or more) of the following symptoms:

1)      Decreased energy.
2)      Difficulty thinking or concentrating.
3)      Suicidal thoughts.
4)      Lack of physical movement.
5)      Loss of interest in previously pleasurable activities (hobbies, etc.).
6)      Feeling guilty or worthless.
7)      Hallucinations, delusions, and/or paranoia.
8)      Overeating or a significant decrease in appetite.
9)      Oversleeping or insomnia.

You must also face serious difficulty due to the symptoms of your depression in executing the following:

1)      Social functioning.
2)      Focusing.
3)      Activities of daily living (aka “ADLs”).
4)      Extended, repeated lengths of time of increasingly worse symptoms (aka “episodes of decompensation”).

Even if you have had a positive reaction to anti-depressants and live in a supportive environment, if the possibility exists that returning to work could have a negative impact on your life, then you may still qualify for Social Security Disability.

If you are considering applying for Social Security Disability benefits due to your depression, or if you have already done so and have been denied and intend to appeal, having a disability attorney can help significantly.  Appeals cases are much more successful when an attorney is involved, fighting for you.  We at ACML are here to help you get the benefits you deserve.  You can call us at (614) 221-3318 or (800) 678-3318.  We are located at 226 North Fifth Street, 5th Floor, Columbus, OH 43215.