Feb 27

Depression and Social Security Disability Benefits


depression and SSDDepression can be debilitating. Long term depression can be so bad that it prevents someone from being able to work. If someone has significant depression, would they be entitled to social security disability benefits? The answer is maybe. Let’s look to see what is needed to secure social security disability benefits for depression.

The Social Security Administration has developed a listing for depression and depressive disorders. Under 12.04, the first step to determine if depression or a depressive order is established is to review the medical documentation. The medical documentation must show five or more of the following:

  1. Depressed mood;
  2. Diminished interest in almost all activities;
  3. Appetite disturbance with change in weight;
  4. Sleep disturbance;
  5. Observable psychomotor agitation or retardation;
  6. Decreased energy;
  7. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness;
  8. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
  9. Thoughts of death or suicide.


In addition to the medical documentation above, a social security disability applicant must show extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following areas of mental functioning:

  1. Understand, remember, or apply information.
  2. Interact with others.
  3. Concentrate, persist, or maintain pace.
  4. Adapt or manage oneself.


Depression or a depressive disorder may also result in social security disability benefits if the depression or depressive disorder is “serious and persistent;” that is, the applicant has a medically documented history of the existence of the disorder over a period of at least 2 years, and there is evidence of both:

  1. Medical treatment, mental health therapy, psychosocial support(s), or a highly structured setting(s) that is ongoing and that diminishes the symptoms and signs of your mental disorder; and
  2. Marginal adjustment, that is, you have minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life.


As you can see, substantial documentation is needed to be awarded social security disability benefits because of depression or a depressive order. You should not try to get these benefits without the help of someone who understands the process and the requirements. To schedule a free consultation to see if we can help you obtain social security disability benefits for depression or other conditions, click here. There is no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we obtain social security benefits for you.


Attorneys Matthew Noyes & Lorrie Robinson represents those fighting to obtain social security disability benefits in Tampa Bay, Florida. They are attorneys at the Tampa Bay law firm of Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes – one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Pinellas County. Call Attorney Matthew Noyes or Lorrie Robinson now at 727-796-8282 or complete the form on this page or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment

reset all fields