DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION – LISTING 12.04
Disability benefits for Depression are available if your symptoms are severe under SSA’s Listing 12.04. If your depression prevents you from working for over 12 months, then submit an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) & SSI benefits. Learn about how to file an application here.
There are two types of SSA benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Supplemental Security income benefits (SSI). If you are unable to work, then you may be eligible for these disability benefits. The SSA pays a monthly payment that replaces your income from work. However, the monthly SSD payment amount is based on your past income. SSD benefits come with Medicare. Learn more about Medicare benefits here.
Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) benefits are different than Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. SSI benefits are a “supplement” to SSD benefits, paid to you if your monthly SSD benefit is a low amount of money.
It is also a benefit you can receive if you have never had a job or even if you have only worked for a short period of time. In order to be eligible for SSI you must meet the disability requirements. SSI benefits, however, come with Medicaid benefits. You must meet your state’s Medicaid income and asset restrictions. Read more information here about Medicaid benefits.
WORK CREDITS AND ELIGIBILITY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS
To be eligible for disability benefits for depression, you must have earned enough work credits. You must have held a job in the past where you paid taxes into the Social Security system. The number of Social Security work credits you earn is based on your annual wages.
The amount of income required to earn a work credit changes every year. However, it is not very high. Every year of work earns a maximum of 4 credits per year. One for each quarter of work.
The number of work credits you need to qualify for SSDI varies depending on the age you are when you become disabled. You can review your work history to find out how many work credits you have. In order to review your work history, create a MySSA account on Social Security’s website.
You may already know that Depression can impact your ability to work. Likewise, mental symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate at work. The symptoms can interfere with your ability to be on time. Also, they can make you call in sick to work. You may have already been fired from your job.
To get Social Security Disability benefits, you will need ongoing treatment for your major depression. Ongoing treatment and inability to recover from Depression is the evidence that will prove your case to the Social Security Administration. Remember, the burden to prove disability is on you. Therefore, make sure you submit all of your medical records to the SSA.
WARNING SIGNS OF DEPRESSION
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Thoughts of suicide or suicidal intentions are serious. The warning signs of depression include:
- Switching suddenly from sadness to being very calm
- Talking or thinking about death on a continuous basis
- Loss of interest in activities or things you did before
- Ongoing trouble with sleeping at night
- Risky behavior that could result in death, such as speeding through red lights
- Making comments about being hopeless or worthless
- Putting your legal affairs in order
- Talking about suicide with friends and family
If you see these warning signs in yourself or others, you should call your local suicide hotline. Additionally, you should contact a mental health professional. We have a list of free and low cost mental health professional here to help you. If all else fails, visit the closest emergency room.
HOW TO GET DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION
There are a number of forms of depression. For example, there is circumstantial depression. This can occur if you lose or loved one or go through a divorce. Typically, these kind of symptoms are temporary and will not prevent you from working on a long-term basis. The kind of depression that results in disability is long-term depression. It is also known as clinical major depression.
Long-term, debilitating mental symptoms may start with a difficult life event, like a divorce. However, unlike circumstantial depression, once the event is over the symptoms continue. The symptoms prevents you from working. And, they can even stop you from doing your daily activities at home.
In order to receive disability benefits for depression, you will need to file an application for disability insurance benefits. You will also need to show that you meet the criteria under listing 12.04.
Listing 12.04 is what the SSA uses to determine the symptoms and severity of your depression. If you depression is severe it will prevent you from doing your daily activities, interacting with other people, and your return to work. You can apply for disability benefits, including SSI benefits, online at the Social Security Website.
IS DEPRESSION A DISABILITY?
LISTING 12.04 – BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION
This is the Social Security listing criteria for Depression. There are three parts to the listing. In order to meet the listing, you must have part A and B or part A and C.
12.04 Depressive, bipolar and related disorders (see 12.00B3), satisfied by A and B, or A and C:
- Medical documentation of the requirements of paragraph 1 or 2:
- Depressive disorder, characterized by five or more of the following:
- Bipolar disorder, characterized by three or more of the following:
THE PART B AND C CRITERIA OF THE DEPRESSION LISTING
- Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
- Your mental disorder in this listing category is “serious and persistent;” that is, you have a medically documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least 2 years, and there is evidence of both:
- Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support, or a highly structured setting that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder (see 12.00G2b); and
- Marginal adjustment, that is, you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life (see 12.00G2c).
Meeting listing 12.04 requires you to prove the above criteria. The symptoms under Part B can be broken apart into single elements. For example, you would meet the Part B criteria if you had an extreme limitation in the ability to “remember.”
You do not need to have an extreme impairment in every element under Part B. It only needs to be extreme in one of the symptoms on the list. The same is true for marked limitations. For example, you could have a marked limitation in concentrating and in remembering. That would meet Part B of the listing. In order to win disability benefits for depression, you can meet or equal listing 12.04.
THE SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION – LISTING 12.04 – PART A
Depression symptoms under Part A are fairly easy to prove. But, only if you have the proper medical records. The best medical records are from your psychologist or psychiatrist. Not everyone can afford a psychiatrist, but a treating psychiatrist will typically prescribe your medications.
Depression medications that your doctor might prescribe could be Prozac, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, or Paxil. These are only some standard examples of what your psychiatrist may use to treat a mental health condition like depression. Additionally, you might be taking other medications for insomnia, like Trazadone or Xanax. Medication, along with therapy, may give you relief from your symptoms.
Clinical depression is one of the most common mental health conditions. The symptoms in Part A can happen for a variety of reasons. But to win benefits under listing 12.04, your doctor should outline the following symptoms:
- persistent sadness
- irritability and chronic anxiety
- appetite changes
- sudden weight gain or loss that is more than just a few pounds
- feelings of guilt and worthlessness
- aches and pains that may have no underlying physical reason
- insomnia or oversleeping for hours, not just minutes
- excessive fatigue during the day
- concentration issues
- memory problems
- suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviors
Some people with Depression receive treatment from a psychologist or counselor. If you get psychological treatment, then you will have talk therapy. Likewise, a counselor gives weekly or biweekly talk therapy or counseling.
Counseling is a useful therapy, because it can give you the tools and skills to deal with depression and symptoms of anxiety. Winning disability benefits for depression requires you to present evidence of the Part A criteria.
DEPRESSION SEVERITY UNDER PART B
Part B of the listing shows the severity of your impairments. In order to win disability benefits for depression, you will need to prove two marked or one extreme Part B impairment.
1. UNDERSTANDING, REMEMBERING AND APPLYING INFORMATION
Under Part B, the SSA is looking to see whether your limitations are severe enough to create a disability. First, you will need a marked limitation in understanding, remembering, and applying information. This refers to having a serious limitation in the ability to learn, recall, and use information at work. For example, this includes serious limitations in the following:
- understanding and remembering instructions and procedures
- following one or two-step instructions in order to perform a task
- identifying and solving problems
- recognizing a mistake and correcting it
- asking questions of co-workers and supervisors, and
- using reason and judgment to make work-related decisions.
2. INTERACTING WITH OTHERS
Second, the Part B criteria contemplates a marked limitation in interacting with others. For instance, this means serious limitations in the ability to relate to and work with others. By others, they mean supervisors, co-workers, and the public. If you have trouble getting along, you may have difficulty with:
- handling conflicts with others
- asking for help when needed
- sustaining conversation with other at work
- understanding and responding to social cues, such as verbal or emotional cues of others
- responding to suggestions, criticism, and correction from supervisors
- keeping social interactions free of excessive irritability and getting along with coworkers
3. CONCENTRATION, PERSISTENCE AND PACE
There is also, under Part B, the issue of being able to concentrate, persist, or maintain pace. While this may be self-explanatory, at work an employee must be able to complete tasks. If you are unable to do this because of depression, you cannot sustain full-time work. You must be able to:
- finish assigned tasks
- persist on a work task if there is a problem, instead of giving up
- maintain a required pace, one that is set by the work standard
- consistently be able to focus on assigned projects
- keep a work reasonable production rate
4. ADAPTING AND MANAGINE ONESELF
Finally, a marked limitation in adapting and managing oneself refers to being seriously limited in the abilities to regulate emotions and control personal behavior. This includes the ability to:
- respond to demands
- adapt to changes
- manage psychologically based symptoms
- distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable work performance
- set realistic goals
- make plans for yourself independently of others
- maintain personal hygiene and attire appropriate to a work setting, and
- be aware of normal hazards and take appropriate safety precautions.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU DO NOT HAVE MENTAL HEALTH INSURANCE AND NEED DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION
If you do not have health insurance, there are still way to get mental health treatment. If you are from Utah, go to Utah’s Free and Low Cost Health Services. There you will find mental health resources that are affordable. Learn other information about Utah mental disabilities here.
Likewise, if you are from Nevada, you can go to Nevada’s Free and Low Cost Mental Health Services on our site. There you will find examples of clinics and treatment centers. These provide counseling and mental health therapy. Some places offer counseling for free. Others offer it on a sliding scale. Don’t wait, call these resources today. Get yourself into treatment. Learn more about Nevada mental disability benefits here.
Make sure the psychologist or psychiatrist you choose will support you through the disability process. Also, ask your counselor or therapist to support you too. Some treating sources refuse to provide progress notes. Or, they refuse to write letters on your behalf. Don’t let this happen.
Ask you mental health source to keep and provide their notes to the SSA. Also, seek treatment from someone who will help you. You should also ask your treating mental health therapist if they will support you in your disability claim. If they won’t submit their records. Or, if they refuse to help, then find a new therapist. If you need free or low cost mental health care in Colorado then read here.
MEDICAL EVIDENCE TO PROVE YOUR DEPRESSION IS A DISABILITY
The difficulty in winning disability benefits for depression is that you must show, with objective medical evidence, that you have the depressive symptoms in Part A. But, what is medical evidence. Medical evidence, for example, are notes from your doctor. Or, they are treating notes from your therapist.
In addition, you must also show your symptoms are so severe that they also meet the criteria under Part B and/or C. There are times where proving Part C is easier than proving Part B. This is particularly true if you are living in a “highly structured setting.” Learn more about the importance of medical evidence in proving your disability case for depression.
For example, if you live in a state mental institution or in housing that also provides mental health treatment, then you live in a highly structured setting. If leaving that setting would make your depression worse, then you are probably meet the Part C criteria. Therefore, you are disabled.
One more important aspect of winning SSD benefits, is that the benefits also help your family members. For example, if you have a child under the age of 18, then they are eligible for benefits too. Likewise, if you are receiving benefits such as SSD, after 24 months you are eligible for Medicare.
If you receive SSI benefits, you are eligible for Medicaid. These benefits are there to help you as you deal with your mental health condition. The goal is to use your health insurance to seek treatment. Then, hopefully, you will recover and be able to return to the work force.
DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY – TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Depression and Anxiety are two sides of the same coin. This means that the symptoms of depression can also include anxiety. For example, you may experience these depressive symptoms: crying spells, sadness, and loss of interest in activities or hobbies. Likewise, you may isolate yourself. You might stay away from friends and family members. Or worse, you may have thoughts of suicide.
However, you may also experience anxiety symptoms when you have depression. Anxiety presents symptoms such as racing thoughts, inability to sleep, irritability, lack of focus, confusion, and panic attacks. An individual can have one or all of these symptoms and be diagnosed with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Depression, or even Bipolar Disorder.
If you can’t work due to these symptoms, apply for disability benefits for depression. Many people think that applying for benefits means they can never return to work. This is not true.
People who receive the proper treatment and medications are often able to return to the workforce. Disability benefits are rightfully yours during the time you cannot work. As long as you have been off work for 12 months due to your disabling mental impairments, you are entitled to benefits during that time period.
Contact Cannon Disability. Start your application for benefits today. This will help you win benefits. You can receive benefits, even if you are able to return to work at a later date. Please call us. Let us help you file your disability application. We are available to answer your questions about Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Also, we will answer your questions about Depression and Anxiety.
CANNON DISABILITY LAW CAN WIN YOU DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION
At Cannon Disability we specialize in helping you win your disability benefits for depression. However, we must prove you are eligible. We do that by developing your case. Developing your case means getting your medical records which show the SSA you cannot work because of your depression symptoms.
In order to do this, you will need mental health treatment. Likewise, we will need the support of your mental health therapist or counselor. We need to prove that your depression contains the elements under Listing 12.04. Usually your therapist helps you by writing a letter about your disability. In their letter, they should state you cannot work due to your mental health.
HOW WILL YOU PAY THE ATTORNEY FEE?
We will use our legal skills to help you through the disability process. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make applying for disability benefits for depression easier for you.
We offer a free consultation. If you call, then there is no obligation to become a client. You ask questions. We will answer. Even if we don’t accept representation, we will still try to help you.
It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because we work on a contingency fee basis. This means you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. If we win, then the SSA pays us out of your back benefits. If you do not win, you do not pay an attorney fee.
How much is the attorney fee? The attorney fee is whatever is less between 25% of your back benefit and the fee cap of $6000. This is best understood through an example. If your back benefit is $10,000, then your attorney fee would be $2500.
However, if your back benefit is $100,000, you would not pay $25,000 in attorney fees. Instead, you would pay the amount of the fee cap, which is $6000. In November 2022, the fee cap is raising to $7200. Therefore, if you win your case after the new fee cap takes effect, then your fee is capped at the higher fee cap.
Regardless, you pay whatever is less between 25% of your back benefit and the fee cap. Most importantly, you only owe an attorney fee if we win your case. Find out more here about what it will cost.
OUR LEGAL TEAM HELPS YOU WIN DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION
It is possible for you to have both Depression and Anxiety at the same time. Anxiety is commonly known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It is not unusual for one person to receive a diagnosis of two or three types of mental conditions at once. However, for the SSA, Anxiety is a disability under listing 12.06.
Under SSA’s regulations, each mental condition has its own listing. To meet a listing, the SSA considers only the elements under that specific listing. If you meet the listing, then you are eligible for disability benefits. Equalling the listing, however, allows the SSA to consider the combination of all of your impairments.
Hire us. We know how to prove you are eligible for disability benefits for depression. Our legal team prepares you for success. During your case, we collect your medical records. Medical records from your treating sources prove your disability. Medical records prove the case, whether you have a physical or mental disability, or both.
We know you need disability benefits to replace your income. Over the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 disability cases. We want to win your case too. Contact us today for your free consultation. Let us help you win disability benefits for depression.