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Disability benefits for Depression are available under Listing 12.04 from the Social Security Administration. If your depression prevents you from working for over 12 months, then submit an application for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) & SSI benefits. If you are unable to work, then you may be eligible for disability insurance. This is a monthly payment. The payment amount is based on your past income. You can also get Medicare or Medicaid.


To be eligible for Social Security Disability, you must have earned 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. And, you can earn 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 your work credits. Create a MySSA account on Social Security’s website.

You may already know that Depression can effect 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 to get 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.


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. There is a list of free and low cost mental health professional here to help you. If all else fails, drive yourself or have someone drive you to the closest emergency room.


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 issues 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.

women with depression needs disability benefits in Utah and Nevada

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.



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:

  1. Medical documentation of the requirements of paragraph 1 or 2:
    1. Depressive disorder, characterized by five or more of the following:
      1. Depressed mood;
      2. Diminished interest in almost all activities;
      3. Appetite disturbance with change in weight;
      4. Sleep disturbance;
      5. Observable psychomotor agitation or retardation;
      6. Decreased energy;
      7. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
      8. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
      9. Thoughts of death or suicide.
    2. Bipolar disorder, characterized by three or more of the following:
      1. Pressured speech;
      2. Flight of ideas;
      3. Inflated self-esteem;
      4. Decreased need for sleep;
      5. Distractibility;
      6. Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences that are not recognized; or
      7. Increase in goal-directed activity or psychomotor agitation.



  1. Extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning (see 12.00F):
    1. Understand, remember, or apply information (see 12.00E1).
    2. Interact with others (see 12.00E2).
    3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace (see 12.00E3).
    4. Adapt or manage oneself (see 12.00E4).


  1. 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:
    1. 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
    2. 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 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.


Depression symptoms under Part A are usually 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 could prescribe might be Prozac, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Lexapro, or Paxil. These are only some standard examples of what your psychiatrist may prescribe. Likewise, you might also be taking other medications for insomnia, like Trazadone or Xanax. Medication, like therapy, may give you some 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
  • hopelessness
  • 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 receive treatment from a psychologists, then you will probably 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.



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.


Second, the Part B criteria contemplates a marked limitation in interacting with others. For instance, this criteria looks to serious limitations in the ability to relate with and work with others. By others, they mean supervisors, co-workers, and the public. Or, the people you encounter at work. If you have trouble in these areas it would mean problems in:

  • 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


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


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.


If you do not have health insurance, there are still way to find 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. 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.

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.


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. Thus, 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.anxiety and depression disability benefits


Depression and Anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Some people who have severe depression have depressive symptoms. For example, you may have crying spells, sadness, loss of interest in activities or hobbies. Likewise, you may stay away from friends and family members. Or worse, you may have thoughts of suicide. Anxiety can also be a manifestation of 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.

One of the main things we can do is help you if you have these mental conditions is to apply for disability benefits.  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 today.  ​Start your application with us. This will help you win benefits, even if you to return to work at a later date.  Please give us a call. 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.


At Cannon Disability Law we specialize in helping you prove your disability. Our goal is to develop your case. Developing your case means getting your medical records which show the Social Security Administration you cannot work due to your depression. 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 counselor or therapist helps you by writing a letter about your disability. In their letter, they should state you cannot work due to your mental health.

It is possible for one person to have Depression and also have Anxiety at the same time. Anxiety is also known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder. There are many times that two or three types of mental conditions occur together. However, Anxiety is a listing under 12.06. For the SSA, each mental condition has its own listing. Physical conditions are also considered separately under their own listing.

Hire us. Our legal team works to prepare your case 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.

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