Attorney David J. King


What must you prove to qualify for SSD for depression?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2019 | Firm News

Many people struggle with the impacts that depression can have. Some individuals may have the ability to keep their condition somewhat under control or at least not have it affect their lives to a debilitating degree. Unfortunately, your condition has taken a major toll on your life, and despite your best efforts, depression continues to show itself in concerning ways.

You may have a desire to live “normally,” but depression often prevents you from carrying out regular daily activities. In fact, it also affects your ability to hold down steady employment. As a result, you may wonder whether you could qualify for Social Security Disability.

Depression and SSD

You may qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration if you suffer from serious depression, but like with any other condition, you must provide documentation to the SSA regarding the severity of your condition. If you suffer from a depressive disorder, your medical documentation must prove five or more of the following characteristics:

  • Depressed mood
  • Reduced interest in almost all activities
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Lack of energy
  • Changes in appetite that affect weight
  • Hard time thinking or concentrating
  • Psychomotor agitation, or moving without purpose
  • Changes in sleep
  • Guilty feelings or feelings of worthlessness

Additionally, a depressive disorder must also satisfy an additional qualification. One way to satisfy that qualification is by showing extreme limitation of one or significant limitation of two of the following mental functions:

  • Interacting with others
  • Adapting or managing yourself
  • Understanding, remembering or applying information
  • Concentrating, maintaining pace or persisting

However, if your condition does not meet this qualification you are not necessarily out of luck.

Another qualification

If your condition does not significantly limit or reduce certain areas of mental function, you could still qualify if you can prove that your depression is “serious and persistent,” or that is has lasted at least two years, and provide evidence of the two following stipulations:

  • A minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or factors that go beyond the demands of your daily life
  • Medical treatment, psychosocial support, mental health therapy or a highly structured setting that is continual and that helps reduce the signs and symptoms of your condition

Depression can make every day a struggle, and when you must also worry about your financial needs, your mental state may become darker. Gaining more information on potentially qualifying for SSD benefits and obtaining assistance throughout the application process may prove useful to you. Additionally, you may benefit from working with a South Dakota attorney experienced in this area of law.