Depression can be a seriously debilitating condition. Oftentimes it can even prevent someone from being able to perform everyday functions that many people take for granted. Sometimes depression can even prevent someone from being able to work a daily job and earn a reasonable income. When depression gets to this level it is possible for the person suffering from this affliction to apply for Social Security Disability benefits to help supplement the income that is lost when working an everyday job is no longer a viable option.
What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?
Social Security Disability Insurance is specifically designed for individuals who have paid into the Social Security system through their employers prior to becoming disabled. Anyone who is deemed to be disabled can receive benefits regardless of income level.
Purpose of Social Security Disability Insurance
The main purpose of SSDI is to help recipients cover their day-to-day expenses such as buying groceries and paying utility bills.
Who is eligible for SSDI?
Anyone who is unable to perform “substantial gainful activity” due to impairment caused by a mental or physical issue that is expected to last at least one full year and has the possibility of resulting in death. When the issue leading to disability benefits is a physical impairment, it is generally easy to make the determination. However, when the impairment is due to a mental impairment such as depression, it can be more complicated and evidence will be needed to prove the case.
One way for someone who is suffering from depression is to get documented opinions for a treating physician. If a physician’s opinion is that the depression is so severe that multiple days a month of work might be missed there is a good likelihood that disability benefits will be granted. The physician should also include a detailed explanation for the opinion in order to strengthen the case for receiving disability benefits. It should be noted that opinions from a social worker or licensed therapist do not hold as much weight as those from medical doctors.
One way for someone suffering from depression to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance is if the criteria on the disability listing for Affective Disorders are met. Again, the decision on whether or not the criteria are met will be dependent on notes from treating doctors. Other factors that weigh into the decision include mental status evaluations, psychological testing, and evidence of hospitalizations.
When depression strikes so badly that working a daily job is no longer an option, it can be a frightening experience. Not knowing how one is going to put food on the table or pay the never-ending pile of bills can make the situation even worse. In cases like this, it is good to know that there might be help available. Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance and supplying the proper documentation can literally be a lifesaver to someone suffering from depression.