Qualifying for SSD with Depression

One of the most common conditions that can qualify Americans for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits is depression. Some estimates show as many as half of all Social Security Disability claimants suffer from this mental disorder.

Depression is considered an affective disorder and is characterized by a disturbance of mood, as well as a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. “Mood” refers to a prolonged emotion that colors your whole psychic life. If feelings of intense helplessness, sadness, or hopelessness last for months at a time and keep you from normal daily life, it may be a treatable medical condition.

Depression that Qualifies for SSD Benefits

To qualify for benefits based on depression, an individual must either meet certain disability criteria, which can be found on the Social Security Administration’s website, or be granted a medical-vocational allowance based on the severity of the depression and a number of other factors, including work history, age, other impairments, and educational level.

According to the SSA, the required level of severity for affective disorders is met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied.

A. Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one of the following:

  • Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following:
    • Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities
    • Appetite disturbance with change in weight
    • Sleep disturbance
    • Psychomotor agitation or retardation
    • Decreased energy
    • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
    • Difficulty concentrating or thinking
    • Thoughts of suicide
    • Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking
  • Manic syndrome characterized by at least three of the following:
    • Hyperactivity
    • Pressure of speech
    • Flight of ideas
    • Inflated self-esteem
    • Decreased need for sleep
    • Easy distractibility
    • Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences
    • Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking
  • Bipolar syndrome with a history of episodic periods manifested by the full symptomatic picture of both manic and depressive syndromes


B. Resulting in at least two of the following:

  • Marked restriction of activities of daily living
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning
  • Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace
  • Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration


C. Medically documented history of a chronic affective disorder of at least two years’ duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently treated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:

  • Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration
  • A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in the environment would likely cause the individual to decompensate
  • Current history of one or more years’ inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement

Our Social Security Disability Lawyers Want to Help

If you have moderate to severe depression, you know how difficult it can be to get out of bed in the morning, let alone perform well at work. Many people with depression end up losing their jobs due to their illnesses, and that means they lose the paychecks their families depend on each week.

If you need help with depression, assistance is just a phone call away. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached by calling (800) 273-8255.

If your depression is preventing you from going to work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. Speaking with a Social Security Disability lawyer will help you determine whether you qualify for compensation due to your mental health condition.

At Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin, we understand the struggles you are facing if you’re suffering from depression. We can answer any questions you may have about applying for disability, and we’re here to take the stress of paperwork and meeting deadlines off of your shoulders. Give us a call to learn more about how we can help you.


    Reach out to a Terre Haute Personal Injury Attorney Today

    The financial burden that often comes with a serious injury can be too much for many people to bear. Unexpected medical debt, damaged personal property, and the sudden loss of income can impact the budgets of most families. The good news is that a successful injury claim could help reduce that financial strain after a serious accident. Get in touch with a Terre Haute personal injury lawyer with Fleschner, Stark, Tanoos & Newlin to learn more.

      *You agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy, and you are providing consent to receive communications including calls, emails, and texts.