SSDI Benefits Could Help Those With Depression

Depression can limit your activities of daily life. Understand the SSDI eligibility requirements, including the medical documentation and severity of symptoms for a successful claim. This information can increase your chances of getting SSDI for depression.

Medical debt relief for depression can provide much-needed financial assistance and relief to patients and families struggling to manage the costs of treatment and living expenses.


Does Your Depression Qualify You For Social Security Disability Benefits?

If you have depression, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI).

To find out if you qualify, review your condition under the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) five-step sequential evaluation process:

1. Are you working? The SSA defines work as the ability to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). If you are working and earning more than SGA, your benefits will be denied. To qualify, your condition must prevent you from working for at least 12 continuous months.

2. Your condition must be severe enough to limit significantly your ability to perform basic work activities like:

  • Walking, standing, sitting, lifting, pushing, pulling, reaching, carrying or handling.
  • Seeing, hearing and speaking.
  • Understanding/carrying out and remembering simple instructions.
  • Responding appropriately to supervision, co-workers and work situations.
  • Dealing with changes in a routine work setting.


The cost of treating depression in the U.S. varies depending on the type of treatment. A patient with major depression can spend an average of $10,836 a year on health costs1. The average cost of psychotherapy in the U.S. ranges from $100 to $200 per session, depending on the state2. Sessions can range from $65 to $250, depending on where you live3. The amount spent to treat depressive disorders is $71 billion, which is the most costly among mental health and substance abuse disorders4.*

*Sources: 1. Psychiatric Care in the US: Are We Facing a Crisis? ( 2. The Average Cost of Psychotherapy Session by State | SimplePractice™ 3. Treatment-Resistant Depression: The High Cost and How to Save ( 4. The cost of treatment ( .

3. Does your depression meet or equal a medical listing? Depression is listed under mental disorders (Medical Listing 12.04). To satisfy the listing criteria for depression, a number of variables are considered:

  • Appetite disturbance.
  • Sleep disturbance.
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation.
  • Decreased energy.
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness.
  • Difficulty concentrating or thinking.
  • Thoughts of suicide and hallucinations.
  • Delusions or paranoid thinking.

If your depression doesn’t satisfy a medical listing, the SSA continues to the next two steps to review how your limitations and symptoms affect your ability to work.

  • Restrictions of your activities of daily living.
  • Maintaining social functioning.
  • Deficiencies of concentration.
  • Persistence or pace.
  • Repeated episodes of decompensation–each of extended duration.
  • If you have four symptoms present from the depressive syndrome list, as well as extreme limitation in two of the five functional areas, you will probably be eligible for benefits.

If your depression doesn’t satisfy a medical listing, the SSA continues to the next two steps to review how your limitations and symptoms affect your ability to work.

4. Can you perform work you’ve done in the past? If you can, benefits are denied. If you cannot, the process proceeds to the last step.

5. Are you capable of performing other work? SSA will review vocational factors (age, education, work experience), to determine what other work, if any, you can do. At this step, the SSA enlists medical-vocational rules. If SSA finds there is other work you can perform, benefits are denied. If SSA finds you do not have transferable skills to do any other work, benefits are awarded.


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