More and more, the powers that be are recognizing how crippling mental health disorders like depression can be on workers. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has covered depression for many years, but it remains a challenge to be approved for benefits. If you have had to stop working because of depression, read below and learn the facts about depression and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Facts About Depression and SSDI Benefits
The first qualification hurdle to cross is verification of work history. To be paid SSDI, claimants need to have worked for a certain amount of time recently. They also must have earned enough money to qualify for benefits. It's advisable for those about to apply for benefits to check their status for disability pay by creating an account on the SSA website or by phoning the nearby SSA office to find out more.
After you have passed the work credits test, a sector of the SSA known as disability determination services (DDS) takes over your case. Here, the claimant's condition is checked against the listed ailments using the SSA blue book. This book, available for viewing online, provides a description of the condition along with what is needed to show proof of the condition. Diagnostic tests, medication trials, doctor's notes, and more are used to determine coverage for a given ailment.
During this phase, the SSA takes an in-depth look into why the claimant is unable to perform the tasks of their job because of the ailment. The process takes tasks listed in vocational manuals and compares the tasks with the claimant's condition. For example, if the manual says the worker should be able to use their memory to carry out verbal instructions, then the caseworker tries to determine if depression symptoms or treatments interfere with that job task.
Finally, the duration of the impairment is checked. SSDI is only available to those who have suffered from their condition for a certain amount of time. The duration of the impairment must be at least a year in the past or some combination of a year in the past together with a prediction of future suffering.
In many cases, initial claims are turned down and the claimant is directed to file an appeal. It's advisable to speak to a Social Security lawyer before you appear at the appeal hearing. The lawyer will help you identify what needs to be shown at the hearing and they will appear with you to argue for your benefits on your behalf. Don't bear this burden alone, speak to a Social Security attorney and get help with your claim.
For more information, contact a social security disability lawyer in your area.