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Depression

Getting Social Security Benefits for Your Depression

Definition and Symptoms

Sometimes it is hard to find words for depression. It has been described as "a black curtain coming down on one's life." Those that suffer from depression often feel as though they have no energy, have difficulty concentrating or are irritable all the time for no reason. Others feel sad, down or hopeless for weeks at a time. This is not something that is just "made up in the head," but instead it's a very real illness that requires some kind of treatment. Though the symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, if your depression interferes with your daily life and ability to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. The information below was obtained from www.depression.com .

Symptoms of Major Depressive Disorder

  • constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
  • decreased interest or pleasure in usual activities or hobbies
  • loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
  • a change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
  • a change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
  • restlessness or feeling slowed down
  • decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
  • feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  • thoughts of suicide or death

Social Security Benefits

The fact is that most people with depression never seek help, even though the majority will respond in some way to treatment. With mental illnesses, there is often no hard evidence or proof to show that the condition exists. If someone is physically sick, it is often verifiable with blood tests or x-rays, but with a mental illness things are more complicated. That is why it is important to see a mental health provider regularly. An accurate and continuous record of your illness will strengthen your disability case. Mental health professionals can be expensive and finding one you are comfortable with is not always an easy task. If you think you may have a mental condition, but cannot afford treatment, please refer to the "low cost/no cost health care" link. For more information about depression, see www.depression.com. Getting a mental health provider and visiting them regularly is the most valuable thing you can do for your Social Security case.

Social Security Process

Social Security evaluates each person's claim for benefits using the following five steps:

  1. Are you working? If you are working in 2006 and your earnings average more than $860 a month, you generally cannot be considered disabled. If your back injury prevents you from working, we go to Step 2.
  2. Is your condition "severe"? Your back injury interferes with basic work-related activities, you claim will be considered. If it does not, we will find that you are not disabled. If your condition does interfere with basic work-related activities, we go to Step 3.
  3. Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions? For each of the major body systems, we maintain a list of medical conditions that are so severe they automatically mean that you are disabled. Some back conditions that appear on this list are stenosis, degenerative disc disease, lumbar back pain with positive straight leg raising tests, and nerve root compression. If your back condition is not on the list, we have to decide if it is of equal severity to a medical condition that is on the list. If it is, we will find that you are disabled. If it is not, we then go to Step 4.
  4. Can you do the work you did previously? If your condition is severe but not at the same or equal level of severity as a medical condition on the list, then we must determine if the back pain interferes with your ability to do the work you did previously. If it does not, your claim will be denied. If it does, we proceed to Step 5.
  5. Can you do any other type of work? If you cannot do the work you did in the past, we see if you are able to adjust to other work. We consider your medical conditions and your age, education, past work experience and any transferable skills you may have. If you cannot adjust to other work, your claim

At Disability Group, we understand how hard life can become with a back injury. Our experienced staff will guide you through the process of getting your disability benefits. We understand what medical evidence is required to prove your case and we will work diligently at obtaining, analyzing and preparing your case for a favorable decision. Contact us for a free evaluation of your case, by internet at www.socialsecuritydisabilityhelpcenter.com or by phone at (888) BENEFITS.

A professional will help you at all levels of the administrative process to:

  • A representative will work with you and assist you with your initial SSI & SSDI application, with filing your request with Social Security Administration for reconsideration, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge or filing an appeal with the Appeals council.
  • Analyze your case under Federal Social Security Disability Regulations. Obtain a copy of your file from the Office of hearings & Appeals to ensure that it reflects all your past medical treatment and that all records and documents contained therein are admissible as evidence.
  • Ask that any prior SSI & SSDI applications for benefits be reopened.
  • Protect your right to a fair hearing.
  • Make any necessary Social Security appeals.
  • A representative will work with you and assist you with your initial SSI & SSDI application, with filing your request with Social Security Administration for reconsideration, requesting a hearing before an administrative law judge or filing an appeal with the Appeals council.
  • We are not retained until the contract is countersigned.

Please contact our SSDI lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. Jacoby & Meyers has offices nationwide.