Social Security Disability for Depression and Anxiety

Anxiety and depression can markedly impact your ability to stay employed. Chronic (clinical) depression and anxiety are usually co-occurring psychological disorders that exacerbate each other’s symptoms. When someone is so overwhelmed with depression they can’t make themselves get out of bed, they become anxious at the thought of losing their job or missing so much work that they might be fired. As they grow more anxious, their depression worsens. Although medications exist to treat depression and anxiety, some people do not respond to antidepressants. In addition, severe depression and anxiety floods the bloodstream with a stress hormone called cortisol. Unless lowered, excess cortisol is known to cause heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and systemic inflammation.

Depression - Anxiety Disability

How Do You Qualify for SSDI or SSI If You Have Depression and Anxiety?

The Social Security Administration’s Blue Book lists depression and anxiety under it’s adult mental disorders category “Depressive, Bipolar and Related Disorders”. Examples of these disorders potentially qualifying for their disability insurance program include major depressive disorder, cyclothymic disorder, depressive/bipolar disorder due to other medical conditions and dysthymia (persistent depressive disorder). Applicants seeking disability for anxiety will need to show they suffer a “clinically significant decline” in their ability to work and perform other tasks necessary for their well-being.

Qualifying for a Social Security disability insurance program also requires that applicants submit extensive documentation completed by physicians, psychiatrists and/or psychologists that show they consistently suffer from the following:

  • Loss of pleasure/interest in almost all or all activities
  • Persistent feelings of guilt, hopelessness, depression and anxiety
  • Suicidal ideation/attempts at suicide
  • Clinically significant changes in weight, appetite, sleep, energy levels and cognition
  • Alternating periods of euphoria and sadness
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Psychomotor abnormalities

Is It Difficult to be Approved for Disability for Depression or Disability for Anxiety?

In most cases, the SSA will deny SSDI or SSI benefits for people with depression or anxiety because of the subjective nature of the diagnosis. To increase your chances of being initially approved or receiving an approval upon appeal, consult with a disability attorney who can gather and present the kind of strong evidence needed to win your case. Call the Law Office of Daniel Berger today to schedule an appointment with a social security disability lawyer who may be able to help you win your SSDI or SSI case.