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Can I get Social Security Disability based on depression?

When most people think of a disabling condition, they tend to think of physical problems such as a bad back or a serious disease. A mental health condition can affect your ability to work just as much as a physical one. If your depression causes diminished functioning that prevents you from working, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits based on a diagnosis of major depressive disorder. 

To increase the chances of a successful claim, it is important to prepare proper, extensive supporting documentation. 

Who can get depression

Anyone of any age, gender or race can develop a depressive disorder. Sometimes it may seem to develop on its own; other times, one may begin experiencing major symptoms after a traumatic event.

How depression affects your life

Generally, major depressive disorder makes it extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to function in daily life. This disorder often decreases motivation, leading people to feel hopeless and uninterested in anything, even activities they used to enjoy. As a result, people who suffer from depression may not even be able to get up and go to work, let alone perform their job duties. 

Relating your symptoms to your ability to work

No matter how severe the symptoms, obtaining SSDI means showing their impact on work function. In addition to submitting the regular notes and reports from your doctor, you may need your doctor to write a report explaining specifically how your symptoms curtail your ability to work. Thus, rather than stating that your major depressive disorder causes you to lack motivation, the report would need to add that the lack of motivation prevents you from getting up in the morning and going to work.

Following the right treatment

An important part of applying for SSDI is complying with your treatment plan. The typical treatment for major depressive disorder consists of a medication regimen. Your doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes and coping techniques to help you deal with your symptoms; they can improve your level of well-being but will not cure your condition.

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