Living with depression can be a nightmare. Imagine suffering from severe sadness and hopelessness that may even cause you to be suicidal. Depression once had a very negative stigma, but these days more people in Newark and nationwide are recognizing that depression is a mental illness with biological components. Unfortunately, depression can be so severe for some that it disables them. However, if this is the case, can a person seek Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits?

There are a number of requirements that must be met for a person’s depression to be disabling for the purpose of qualifying for SSD benefits for mental illness. First of all, in order for a depressive disorder to be considered disabling, at least five of the following conditions must be satisfied. One condition is a depressed mood. Another is a lowered interest in almost all activities. A third condition is either weight loss or weight gain due to changes in appetite. A fourth is to have sleep issues. Another condition is noticeable psychomotor retardation or agitation. A decrease in the amount of energy the applicant has is another. A seventh condition is feeling that one is worthless, or feeling inappropriately guilty. Another condition is having issues maintaining concentration. Finally, being suicidal is another condition associated with depression.

In addition, in order to qualify as a disabling condition, a person with a depressive disorder must be extremely or markedly limited in their ability to understand, remember or apply information, adapt, concentrate, or interact. Alternatively, in order to qualify as a disabling condition, a person’s disorder must be considered to be “serious and persistent.” This means that there is medical documentation that the disorder has lasted at least two years, that the person has received medical treatment or therapy that is ongoing and helps with the symptoms of depression, and the person has minimal capacity to adapt to alterations in their environment or cope with demands beyond those found in their daily life.

Those with depression may find that they are unable to function normally, sometimes for a very extended period of time. When this happens, they may want to seek disability benefits. To learn more about how to qualify for Social Security disability benefits for depression, one may want to consider seeking the advice of an experienced Newark attorney.