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DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION – LISTING 12.04

Can you apply for disability benefits for depression? The answer is yes, if your depression prevents you from working for over one year. Additionally, you will need to get ongoing treatment for your depression, so that you can prove you are disabled to the SSA.

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, this kind of depression is 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. Long-term, debilitating depression may start with a difficult life event, like a divorce. However, unlike circumstantial depression, once the event is over, the depression continues. It also prevent you from working and even doing 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 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 working. You can apply for disability benefits, including SSI benefits, online at ssa.gov.

LISTING 12.04 – BENEFITS FOR DEPRESSION

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.

AND

  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).

OR

  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(s), or a highly structured setting(s) 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).

PROVING YOUR DEPRESSION IS A DISABILITY

The difficulty in proving disability is that you must show with objective medical evidence that you have the depressive symptoms in Part A. But, in addition, you must also show that 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.” For example, if you live in a state mental institution or you live 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 and you are disabled.

At Cannon Disability Law we specialize in helping you prove your disability. Our goal is to develop your case so that your medical records show the SSA that you cannot work due to your depression. We need to prove that your depression contains the elements under Listing 12.04. Our legal team works to prepare your case for success. We know you need disability benefits to replace your income. Over the past 30 years, we have won over $100 million in past-due benefits for our clients. Contact us today for your free consultation.

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