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Do people with depression qualify for SSD benefits?

Trying to work when you cannot focus on anything can negatively impact your performance. Suffering from mental illness could prevent you from working effectively and interfere with your ability to make a living.

Social Security Disability or SSD benefits are typically associated with physical injuries. However, if your depression is severe enough to compromise your focus, you could meet the requirements for SSD benefits.

Assessing your condition

Saying that you feel depressed is not enough evidence to qualify for SSD benefits. The Social Security Administration has a specific list of requirements that you must meet to qualify for assistance. These include at least five or more depression-related symptoms such as:

  • Low energy levels
  • Disinterest in activities that you typically enjoy
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Increased agitation
  • Difficulty eating
  • Insomnia

Evaluating your future

Once you have assessed your condition, you can work with your medical provider to acquire an official diagnosis. From here, you can begin the application process for benefits. If you receive approval, it will take some time to arrange things before your benefits begin.

Receiving SSD benefits does not prevent you from returning to work in the future. If you feel able to go back to work, you may have the option of continuing to receive benefits depending on your working conditions. If your depression affects your ability to resume your former job, you may need modifications to help you successfully complete your job requirements. In this situation, for example, you may continue collecting benefits until you reach a certain income level or until your condition improves and you no longer meet the definition of a disability.