Is My Depression a Disability?

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Is My Depression a Disability? 

Depression is a common mental health condition and is not always disabling. When the Social Security Administration (SSA) considers a Social Security disability (SSD) claim based on depression, they are looking to see whether your condition is severe enough to prevent the applicant from engaging in substantial gainful activity

Determining Disability Based on Depression

The first step in an SSD disability determination is to assess whether the disability meets or equals a condition listed in the Social Security Blue Book. Depression is a listed condition. That means the SSA will first compare your medical records and other information about your symptoms and limitations with the listing criteria. 

  • Depressed mood
  • Diminished interest in nearly all activities
  • Appetite disturbance with weight change
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
  • Decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Difficulting concentrating or thinking
  • Thoughts of death or suicide

In addition, the applicant must meet one of two additional criteria. These are: 

  • Ability to understand, remember, and apply information
  • Ability to interact with others
  • Ability to concentrate, persist, or maintain pace
  • Ability to adapt or to manage oneself


  • A medically documented history of the condition existing for at least two years
  • Ongoing medical care, therapy, and/or a structured environment that reduces symptoms
  • Minimal capacity to adapt to changes in environment

Meeting the listing criteria is the easiest way to qualify for SSD benefits for depression, but it’s not the only one. When a disability benefits applicant doesn’t meet the listed criteria or is seeking benefits for a condition that isn’t listed,  In this situation, the SSA considers factors they don’t take into account if you meet a listed condition, such as your age, what you’ve previously done for a living, whether your skills are transferable to work you can do, and even your educational level. 

Give Yourself the Edge in Applying for Disability Benefits for Depression.

Since depression may or may not qualify you for SSD benefits, it’s important to know exactly what the SSA is looking for and how to provide that information to them. Af Disability Help Group, our advocates have extensive experience helping people like you pursue disability benefits claims, requests for reconsideration, and appeals. To learn more about how we can help, call us today at (800) 800-3332, or fill out our contact form here.

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How Can I Get TDIU?

How Can I Get TDIU?

Many veterans are unable to earn a living because of service-connected disabilities. Congress created a special benefit called TDIU to help these veterans live comfortably. Also known as Unemployability. TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.