How to Prove Your Depression Disability


Serious depression may be more common than you think. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 19.4 million U.S. adults had a least one major depressive episode in 2019. That’s nearly eight percent of the adult population. Depression is a serious condition, and if it’s preventing you from working and leading your life, there is support out there.

Depression could qualify as a disability. Disability benefits can be an essential source of resources for people who are struggling. And if you need to seek disability for this condition, Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. is ready to help.

Depression and Its Symptoms

Major depression is different than the “blues” that people normally experience. Depression comes with significant symptoms. These could include:

  • Sleep disruptions, including oversleeping and insomnia
  • Sadness and hopelessness
  • Irritability
  • Trouble concentrating, thinking, or remembering
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in most or all activities
  • Anxiety
  • Shifts in appetite including overeating or undereating
  • Lack of energy

Does Social Security Consider Depression a Disability?

Yes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers depression a disability. This is because they recognize how severe the condition can be and how deeply it can affect people’s lives. If you qualify for Social Security disability because of depression, you could receive important benefits. These could include monthly income and health coverage under Medicare and other programs.

Social Security Listing for Disability

The Social Security Administration has a detailed list of disabilities that qualify for their program. Known as the “Blue Book,” this resource lays out criteria that are required to prove you qualify for Social Security disability.

Section 12.04 states that you’ll need medical documentation for five or more of the requirements they list. These include symptoms such as depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, decreased energy, and sleep disturbances, though the list includes several other depression symptoms.

You’ll also need to show that you’re suffering an extreme limitation of one of the following abilities, or a noticeable limitation of two of them:

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

What Evidence Will You Need?

Social Security requires detailed medical documentation to support your claim. But what does this mean in the context of depression? It means that you may need to provide records such as:

  • Doctor’s reports
  • Test results
  • Medical and treatment history
  • Reports from a psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Lists of medications
  • Information about your daily activities

Keep in mind that the SSA will need a wide range of information. And if they need further records or support for your claim, you may need to cooperate with their requests. The SSA denies a significant number of claims, usually about 67 percent of them, each year. But many of these denials are done on technical grounds such as failure to provide accurate info or sufficient documentation to support the application.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

Many people think they can handle a disability claim on their own. But there are many complex technical and medical requirements that can trip up people who aren’t used to the process of applying for benefits. That could lead to a technical denial that could prevent you from getting the benefits you need.

Our lawyers work with the SSA and other disability claims all the time. They know the rules, the system, and your rights. They also know what a claim needs as supporting documentation, and they can work to make your claim as strong as possible. Your Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. lawyer can gather the evidence you need, complete all the paperwork, and keep you up-to-date on your claim.

And if a claim is denied, your lawyer can argue for reconsideration or can even appeal the claim. That could lead to a reversal of the denial. In fact, according to the SSA, reconsideration and further hearings average made up about ten percent of awarded claims. That means that even if a claim is initially denied, reconsideration and other processes could be an important part of your case.

Contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. Today

If you need to file a disability claim, get in touch with Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C. today. Depression is a major condition that can limit your ability to work or even manage your life day to day. Let an experienced lawyer handle the paperwork and frustration of filing your disability claim.

For over 40 years, we’ve been representing injured and disabled workers and helping them seek the benefits they need. For a free, no-obligation consultation about your claim, call us now at 516-496-0400 or reach out to us online.