Medical Opinions About Your Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
You will need a statement from your treating doctor or a psychologist regarding the severity of your depression. For example, your doctor might give an opinion that you would miss several days of work each month due to your depression. Make sure the doctor provides an explanation for this opinion.
Continue to see your doctor or therapist during the waiting process for benefits so that you can amass a long treatment history in your medical records. The SSA cannot easily deny the opinion of a therapist who has consistently found you to have a severe mental disorder and who has clinical signs supporting this opinion. If you cannot afford to see a doctor or therapist on a regular basis, the SSA may send you to a consultative examination with a psychologist. For more information, see Nolos article on getting a doctors report for disability.
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Meeting A Disability Listing For Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
The Social Security Administration will automatically grant disability benefits for depression or bipolar disorder if you can show you have the symptoms and limitations listed in its official disability listing for depression or bipolar disorder. The SSA will consider treatment notes from your doctor or psychologist, mental status evaluations, psychological testing, and any reports of hospitalizations.
Symptoms. To qualify for either disability benefits on the basis of depression, you must show you have at least five of the following symptoms:
- involvement in risky activities with painful consequences that are not recognized, and/or
- increase in physical agitation or in in goal-directed activity .
Limitations. For either disorder, you must show that you also have a loss of abilities, either an extreme limitation in one of the following areas or a marked limitation in two or more of the following areas:
- adapting to change or managing oneself
- concentrating on and finishing tasks
- interacting with others using use socially appropriate behaviors, and/or
- understanding, remembering, or using information .
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Can You Get Disability For Anxiety
Anxiety can considered a disability if you have well-documented evidence that it impacts your ability to work. Furthermore, if you meet the medical requirements outlined by the SSAs Blue Book, and have earned enough work credits, you will likely be deemed as disabled by the SSA, enabling you to get disability for anxiety .
Social Securitys Alternative Listing For Depression
Social Security provides another way to meet the listing for depression for those who cant show they currently have the functional limitations above because theyve been living in a highly structured or protected situation or undergoing intense therapy.
If you are in this situation, you may be able to meet a second set of functional criteria. You can do this if your disorder has been medically documented as serious and persistent over a period of at least two years and you have either been living in a highly structured setting or youve been receiving ongoing medical treatment, mental health therapy, or psychosocial support that diminishes the symptoms of your mental disorder. You must also show that you have little ability to adapt to demands that are not already part of your daily life or to changes in your environment.
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An Attorney Can Help You Through The Process
Anxiety and depression can make even the smallest task feel insurmountable. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health conditions that prevent you from working, contact a social security disability attorney at Hawks Quindel for help completing an application, filing an appeal, or making your best case at a hearing. We work on a contingent basis, meaning you do not pay us unless we help you win financial benefits.
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Depression Disability Benefits: The Ultimate Guide For 2022
I wrote Depression Disability Benefits: The Ultimate Guide for 2022 for people who need to win or maintain disability benefits for depression.
This guide is based on my 25 years experience as a former occupational therapist and now disability lawyer. This guide is meant to give you an overview of the types of benefits you may qualify for and the challenges you will face.
Because you are reading this guide, I know you are on the right path. Educating yourself is the single most important thing you can do to improve your chances of success with any disability claim.
Keep on learning and I wish you all the best with your journey,
David Brannen, disability lawyer & founder, Resolute Legal
Types Of Disability Benefits For Depression
If you become unable to work because of depression, you have a few options. You might be eligible for disability benefits from the government, your employer, or your insurer.
This list covers the possible options for depression disability benefits in Canada:
- Employment Insurance sickness benefits
- Short-term disability insurance
- Provincial disability benefits
- Disability tax credit
Lets go over each so you can find out if you qualify. As well as how to apply, and how to appeal if they deny your claim.
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Meet Or Exceed A Disability Listing
If you dont meet the SSA criteria for depressive disorder, you may still qualify for disability benefits if you can show that all your medical conditions, when looked at together, meet or exceeds a listing.
As mentioned above, people diagnosed with depression are often diagnosed with additional mental disorders, such as anxiety. Individually, your depression and anxiety may not meet the SSAs disability criteria. The symptoms of each of those conditions combined, however, may be sufficiently serious to prove that they prevent you from working.
Multiple conditions dont need to be related, however, for the combined effects to qualify for disability benefits. The Good Law Group has had success getting clients disability benefits at an administrative hearing by proving the combined effects of an applicants physical and mental impairments are greater than the effects of any one single impairment.
Chronic Pain And Anxiety
Although the link between pain and depression is well-documented, researchers say anxiety also has significant connections to chronic pain and pain disorders. Last year, researchers who evaluated patients at a Midwestern veterans medical center concluded that patients who have chronic pain should also be evaluated for anxiety disorders.
The study found that 45 percent of patients being treated for pain also tested positive for one or more anxiety disorders. Pain patients with an anxiety disorder generally had more pain and poorer quality of life.
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Applying For Ltd Benefits Due To Depression Or Anxiety
As with all long-term disability claims, your LTD insurance provider will examine your application for benefits to assess whether your disability precludes you from working at an acceptable level. In order to qualify for LTD benefits, your claim must provide medical evidence from your family doctor, psychologist, psychiatrist and/or another appropriate health care professional, that your symptoms prevent you from performing the required tasks of your current job.
The insurance company will scrutinize your LTD claim for any indication that your description of your symptoms conflicts with your medical records. The insurer will also analyze the type, duration, and time frame of your medical care. Medical evidence of your reported symptoms, diagnosis and treatment is the most important facet of your claim for this reason, it is vital that you seek professional help before making a disability claim for anxiety or depression. Specifically, your LTD insurance provider will assess whether you are receiving treatment from a mental health professional or a comparable specialist, whether you are taking prescribed medication, and whether the therapy and medication you receive is appropriate. Through no fault of your own, your claim can be denied if your insurance company finds that your medical care was inadequate.
Read Up On How Social Security Evaluates Disability Claims Based On Generalized Persistent Anxiety Phobias Panic Attacks Obsessive
Social anxiety and other anxiety disorders can be socially limiting at best but at worst can be so disruptive to a persons life that it becomes impossible to work. Anxiety disorders involving phobias, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , and generalized anxiety can qualify for Social Security disability benefits if they are well documented and severely debilitating. If youve been diagnosed with one of the above disorders and it affects your ability to leave the house, function socially, concentrate, or manage the tasks of daily living, you may be eligible for disability benefits.
Some people claim they have anxiety, nervousness , or phobias, but their symptoms are unfortunately a part of modern, stressful life. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits for an anxiety disorder, you have to be able to show that your symptoms are chronic and that they meet one of several specific medical diagnoses related to anxiety and that they severely and negatively impact your ability to function in life. In order to suss out cases of anxiety disorders that are truly preventing someone from doing any kind of work, the SSA has developed a list of requirements that your anxiety disorder must fit into.
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How Depression And Anxiety Can Impact Your Ability To Work
Depression and anxiety, both individually and together, can cause significant functional impairments that impact your ability to work. For example, both conditions can cause increased fatigue, usually the result of insomnia or hypersomnia, which could impact your ability to focus, concentrate, or even get through an 8-hour workday without taking a nap. You may also experience a loss of appetite and have reduced energy and stamina as a result of a lack of nutrition. Additionally, if you have intrusive thoughts, like worthlessness or guilt commonly found in people with depression, or constant worry or fear commonly found in people with anxiety, your ability to focus on even simple tasks, pay attention to detail, and process and remember information or instruction may be impaired.
Where To Get Help
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America lists several helpful resources that can connect you with others nearby who also have anxiety and depression that interferes with normal living. You can also find groups and treatment resources in your own ZIP code by searching the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration s online resource database. These resources are free, and the communities and providers they connect you with can often help you at reduced or no cost. You do not have to give your information to SAMHSA when you search their database for help.
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How Do I File A Disability Application Due To Anxiety Or Depression
The easiest way for most people to file for social security disability benefits is to complete an application online. The second easiest way is to call Social Security and complete an application by telephone.
When you apply, you should be ready to provide with the following information: Your basic information Your work and education history Your medical diagnoses that prevent you from working A list of your doctors and your medications The date you believe you could no longer work due to your impairments
Getting The Right Treatment For Depression And Anxiety
Social Security also looks at what kind of doctor is treating your anxiety and depression. As a rule it is best to receive treatment from a mental health professional. Typically, these include a psychiatrist or psychologist. You may need to see a specialist to help prove that you cant work due to anxiety and depression.
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The Effects Of Depression And Anxiety
Depression can manifest in a wide range of mental and physical symptoms. The most common indicators of depression are a diminished interest in everyday activities, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and sleep disturbances. Depression causes a person to feel sad or hopeless without knowing why they feel this way. In addition to feelings of sadness, symptoms of depression include: loss of enjoyment and interest in many or all normal activities difficulty concentrating or making decisions forgetfulness lack of energy restlessness or agitation frustration over trivial matters eating disorders, unexplained pain or headaches slowed mental and physical processes and feelings of suicide. For some people, depression symptoms can be severe enough to interfere with the ability to cope at work, school and in relationships.
An increasingly common source of stress for Canadians is work-related stress, and for some people, work stress results in anxiety. This anxiety can cause a person to feel fearful and apprehensive about their performance and their future, and may result in panic attacks, pain and other symptoms that can undermine their ability to work effectively.
Anxiety: Four Areas Of Functioning
Additionally, you must also prove that your symptoms cause a serious problem in your functioning. They are the same areas of functioning that are evaluated for depression and include:
- Understanding, remembering or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace in performing tasks
- Adapting or managing oneself
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Correct Treatment But No Documentation
Insurance companies will deny many claims because of a lack of medical documentation. So, even if your doctor follows best practices and you follow their advice if it isnt recorded, its like it never happened.
Its common in cases of depression for the insurance company to ask for your doctors clinical records. They do this to see if the doctor is following best practices adjusting medication and making appropriate recommendations. If the doctors medical file doesnt document whats happening, then the insurance company will deny your claim.
What You Need If You Cant Work Due To Depression And Anxiety Claims
It can be difficult winning disability benefits for depression or anxiety alone. However, the right documentation can support your claim. Therefore, it is important that you see your doctor regularly. Tell them about all of the symptoms you have on a daily basis. Also, your disability advocate can explain the evidence you will need to prove you cant work due to anxiety and depression.
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How Can I Get Social Security To Approve Disability Benefits For Anxiety
To receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for anxiety, you must prove that your condition is totally disabling. This means proving your impairment renders you unable to perform gainful employment. This is a major difference as compared to a private insurance policy or veterans disability compensation, as these will allow for partial disability benefits.With each disability claim, SSA follows a five-step sequential evaluation process. Basically, you must prove total disability in one of two ways:
Social Securitys medical criteria for claiming disability benefits for anxiety disorders are found in the Listing of Impairments for Mental Disorders, subsection §12.06 Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.
The SSA Listing deals with a group of mental disorders which have anxiety as the essential feature. The spectrum of disorders the SSA evaluates under this category include:
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Sleep disturbance.
2. Panic disorder or agoraphobia, characterized by one or both:
- Panic attacks followed by a persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their consequences or
- Disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations .
3. Obsessive-compulsive disorder, characterized by one or both:
- Involuntary, time-consuming preoccupation with intrusive, unwanted thoughts or
- Repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety.
- Concentrate, persist or maintain pace
- Adapt or manage oneself
What Is A Severe Impairment
Social security defines a severe impairment as one that significantly limits your ability to do any of the following: walk, sit, stand, push, pull, lift, and carry hear, speak, and see understand and follow simple directions, and interact with co-workers and supervisors, and adjust to changes in the workplace.
In contrast, a non-severe impairment impacts your ability to work only minimally.
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How Does A Long
Many people will experience periods of depression or anxiety at times throughout their life. For some, the depression or anxiety will be longer-lasting, and may become chronic. Depression and anxiety can make it difficult or impossible to function at work, adding increased financial stress. If you are unable to work due to depression or anxiety, here is what you need to know about making a long-term disability claim.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS FOR ANXIETY DISABILITY CLAIMS AND DEPRESSION DISABILITY CLAIMSIf anxiety or depression is making you unable to perform the duties of your work, there are several options to secure income replacement, compensation, or benefits. What you are eligible for depends on factors such as how long the depression or anxiety is lasting, how it came about, and your insurance coverage. For example:
If your anxiety or depression disability claim was brought about by a workplace injury, you may be eligible for an Alberta or Saskatchewan WCB claim.
You may be able to claim for pain and suffering, past wage loss, and/or loss of future earning capacity if your depression or anxiety were caused by a car accident.
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Common Symptoms Associated With Anxiety And Depression
It may not be possible to identify the cause of someone experiencing depression or anxiety, but there are symptoms to look out for that distinguish anxiety and depression from normal feelings of sadness or concern related to specific events or situations. Some of the common signs that you may have an anxiety disorder include:
- Sense of impending doom or panic with no specific cause
- Elevated heart rate
Symptoms commonly associated with depression include the following:
- Uncontrollable anger not associated with a specific cause
- Changes in eating habits, including binge eating and loss of appetite
- Rapid, unexplained changes in your weight
- Unexplained episodes of sadness and feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of interest in normal activities and loss of motivation
- Thoughts of death, including suicide or causing harm to other people
If you suspect that you may have an anxiety or depression disorder, you should speak with a health care professional specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of anxiety and depression disability. A medical diagnosis is essential in order to get a claim for short-term disability approved for anxiety and/or depression.