The word depression is thrown around a lot these days. Many misuse the term to describe any time they are feeling disappointed or sad about something. However, if you suffer from a depressive disorder, you know that the condition is far more than just feeling blue. It is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms that can affect your entire life, your relationships and your ability to earn a living.
If you suffer from a severe depressive disorder, your struggles to earn a living may only contribute to your battle. In fact, the symptoms of depression may make it difficult or even impossible for you to continue at your job. Nevertheless, you must support yourself, and that may mean applying for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
How can I improve my chances?
Disability benefits exist for people like you who are unable to maintain gainful employment because of a debilitating medical condition. Unfortunately, unseen disabilities, such as depression and other mental illnesses, are notoriously difficult to prove. For this reason, you will want to be certain you gather, organize and present ample evidence that you are qualified for disability, for example:
- Providing evidence that depression limits your ability to understand or remember information, interact with others, concentrate, or maintain the pace required to work
- Documenting your inability to work independently
- Submitting medical documentation of how depression affects you physically and mentally, including loss of energy, loss of appetite, thoughts of suicide or other negative effects
- Listing medications and other treatments and how they affect your ability to work
- Proving that you are unable to care for yourself or deal with changes in your life
- Supplying anecdotal evidence about your impairment from family, friends and co-workers
The SSA will evaluate your ability to work based on these and other factors, so the more details you can supply, the more evidence agents will have to measure your eligibility. Medical documentation from every doctor who has treated you for depression will be the most powerful information you can submit.
It is important to know that they are not considering whether you are unable to continue in the job you have but whether you have the ability to accept any gainful employment. The process may be quite stressful, and not every application for disability benefits is successful on the first try. However those that include sufficient support for their claims have a better chance of success, and those who are denied the first time may file an appeal.