Experts say that depression is a mood disorder that typically lasts a few days for most people. Chronic depression is another matter, however.
Clinical depression typically involves a constant sense of despair and hopelessness that makes it difficult to carry out daily activities. Because the condition often includes sleep disorders (unable to sleep or excessive sleeping), low energy and an inability to concentrate, clinical depression can prevent a person from working.
Fortunately, the Social Security Administration includes chronic depression among the conditions that qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) points out that in order to qualify for SSD benefits, the condition must prevent you from working for at least a year. The organization also stresses that if you qualify, your spouse and children can also be eligible for benefits.
NAMI says that you can apply for SSD online or at the local Social Security office, which is at 4701 Old Wake Forest Road here in Raleigh.
Whether you start the application process online or at the Raleigh office, you will find that you need to present evidence to the Social Security Administration that supports your claim that depression prevents you from continuing to work.
Many people who struggle with chronic depression struggle as well with the SSD application process. The complex forms require detailed medical evidence that must be obtained from health care providers such as doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, hospitals and others that have treated or diagnosed you.
NAMI adds that help with the application process is available from an attorney with disability claims experience, who can prepare your application and then file it for you. If your claim is denied (it’s very common for initial claims to be rejected), an SSD lawyer can also prepare an appeal and represent you in a hearing before a Social Security administrative law judge.