Depression is a severe illness affecting millions of lives every year. The illness can be so bad it results in many people losing time at work. Depression can cause people to withdraw for days, weeks, or even months at a time. This can be a major financial hardship for those who need to work. However, you do have the option to apply for Social Security Disability benefits. It can be a difficult case to prove, so you need to know how to approach the application process for a good outcome. Here are some things to consider.
Proving Depression is the Cause of Your Illness
The first part of getting benefits is determining the cause of your disability. If your depression is due to the use of an illegal substance or alcohol abuse, the SSA will not deem you an appropriate candidate for benefits. This is because the use of these substances can often have side effects that mimic those of depression. The SSA cannot determine if your symptoms are truly depression or due to your alcohol or drug abuse.
In all cases, your medical evidence is a requirement to prove your need and eligibility for benefits. Your doctor will have to submit a statement outlining whether or not you are stable enough to maintain a job. If your doctor believes you are able to work, the likelihood of you getting disability benefits are low. However, you have the option of getting a second opinion from another physician.
Your medical treatment is also evaluated. The SSA will look at the medications you take for your illness and any therapeutic treatment you receive and on what frequency. If you do not take medicine or receive therapy, whether the doctor does not deem it necessary or you choose not to do so on your own volition, the SSA may determine your case is not severe enough to limit your work capabilities.
The best way to get disability benefits from the SSA is to contact a law firm, like Parmele Law Firm, PC. He or she will help you put your case together and fight for your rights to Social Security Disability benefits. You may receive an initial denial letter when you apply for the first time. However, you and your attorney can appeal the decision and continue to work towards an approval. Once you win benefits, you may have to provide information on your condition from time to time.