I’m Depressed- Can I get Social Security Disability for Depression?

I get many clients coming to me asking if they can get social security disability benefits for depression.   I always answer it depends on your circumstances.  Many people are depressed, but are able to continue to work a full-time job.  Some of my clients state they are so depressed that  they cannot work as they have no motivation to do anything at all.

If you hope to get benefits based on a depression diagnosis you will have to show that it is severe.  Some of my clients have been hospitalized many times for suicide attempts or breakdowns due to their depression.  Others simply get a prescription for depression from their family physician.

If you are only getting a prescription from your family physician, and not seeing a counselor or psychiatrist, it will be much more difficult for you to show the Social Security Administration that your depression is severe.  This is due to the fact that the Social Security Administration relies on medical records to determine how severe your depression is.  If you are only taking a prescription drug then it is much more difficult to show that the depression is a severe impairment.

The social security administration will have a consultative doctor examine you.  However, many times the doctor will state that you have not sought counseling and would benefit from such treatment.  It’s difficult to show at this point that you would still be depressed even if you received counseling since you never tried it.

Since each case varies it is important that you consult someone familiar with the issues before deciding that your case is too mild.   Often there are other physical issues contributing to the depression and a combination of these issues may make you eligible for disability.  It is important that each case be evaluated before making such a decision.

Please remember that this is just general information, and everyone’s situation is unique. This article should not be considered legal advice.