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Qualifying for SSDI based on depression

Depression is currently the second leading cause of disability worldwide, according to a paper recently published in the journal Plos Medicine. In some countries, clinical depression is the leading cause of disability, but on the whole depression is outpaced by lower respiratory infections.

In the United States, nearly one in ten adults in the United States suffers with clinical depression, a condition characterized by at least one major depressive episode of overwhelming sadness and hopelessness daily for two weeks annually. Depressive episodes are greatly debilitating to those who suffer them, and can interfere with family life, work, and other duties. Adding to this are the health complications that can come from clinical depression, including ischemic heart disease. 

Those most at risk for the condition include women, minorities, the unemployed, the uneducated, those without health insurance, those who are divorced, and those between the ages of 45 and 64.

Qualifying for SSDI for depression can be done a couple ways. The first way is to qualify based on the impairment listing for Affective Disorders. This would require a showing of certain symptoms, including difficulty concentrating or thinking, suicidal thoughts, and paranoia.

Another way to qualify would be to qualify under another process known as the “medical-vocational allowance. If depression is the only impairment listed in the application, it may be difficult to get approval unless the depression is severe. If it is mixed with a physical impairment, this can change the situation.

Qualifying for SSDI is not necessarily easy, and it can be helpful to work with an experienced attorney throughout the process. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, “It’s a sad, sad, sad, sad world: Depression and global disability,” Monte Morin, November 5, 2013. 

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