Disability for Depression in Washington, D.C.
Get Help When You Can’t Work
Feelings of sadness, hopelessness or inadequacy can become so severe that they prevent you from functioning normally in your everyday life. Emotional distress can even make it impossible for you to work.
If you or someone you love is experiencing this, Social Security disability benefits could provide crucial financial relief to get you through this difficult time.
Social Security covers mental health problems as well as physical. Depression is just as valid as any physical ailment.
But because mental health issues often are not visible to the naked eye, it can be more challenging to prove them. Most disability applications get turned down.
You need an advocate who knows how to build a case for your particular situation.
At Mathis & Mathis Disability Advocates, we have the experience to ensure you get a fair chance.
We’ve been helping people win disability claims in Washington, D.C., for over 20 years. Contact us now.
Does My Depression Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Depression is the second most common condition people list on applications for Social Security disability.
With the Social Security Administration (SSA) seeing so many of these cases, you need your case to be strong.
To qualify for benefits, you must either meet the criteria laid out in the “Blue Book” — which is the SSA’s impairment listing guide — or you’ll need what’s called a “medical-vocational allowance” if your condition doesn’t exactly match the listing.
Listing 12.04 in the Blue Book covers depressive, bipolar and related disorders.
In order to qualify, you must provide medical documentation of at least five of the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood
- Diminished interest in almost all activities
- Appetite disturbance with change in weight
- Sleep disturbance
- Observable psychomotor agitation or impairment
- Decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Difficulty concentrating or thinking
- Thoughts of death or suicide
In addition, you must show an extreme limitation in one — or a marked limitation in two — of the following areas of mental functioning:
- Understanding, remembering or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace
- Managing yourself
Alternatively, you can demonstrate that your condition is “serious and persistent” by presenting evidence of the following:
- Your disorder has lasted at least two years.
- You’ve received extensive medical treatment.
- You’re unable to adapt to changes in your daily life.
Mathis & Mathis can look at the details of your condition and evaluate your case for free.
The Medical-Vocational Allowance
Even if your symptoms don’t match perfectly — or you don’t have the proper documentation for them — you’re not necessarily out of luck.
The SSA can issue a medical-vocational allowance in lieu of your meeting the required criteria.
Social Security can consider whether your depression causes functional limitations that prevent you from working, such as:
- Impaired memory
- Weak attention span
- Inability to concentrate or learn new information
- Inability to interact with coworkers
If you don’t qualify under the Blue Book definition, you may also need to show you have another, compounding mental health or physical condition in order to qualify for a medical-vocational allowance based on depression.
At Mathis & Mathis, we have the experience to guide you on what kind of claim you should pursue.
And we have the knowledge to gather the right evidence and ensure you bring the strongest case to the SSA.
If you have debilitating depression and are unable to work, we’ll fight to get you the benefits you deserve. Contact us today!