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Marc Whitehead
Board Certified-Personal Injury Trial Law
Texas Board of Legal Specialization

 

 

 

Is Depression a Disability?


As attorney advocates for the disabled, we represent depression disability claimants across the United States. As with physical injuries, not everyone with depression qualifies for disability benefits. Yet severe depression can significantly interfere with a person’s daily activities and ability to work. In fact, depression is among the leading causes of disability worldwide.

If your claim for depression disability benefits has been denied, there is hope.

People with depression may realize they are in trouble, but many times they do not seek treatment. Without a detailed medical history of your depression, it is difficult to prove you are disabled and incapable of working.

Still, the law is there to protect you if you suffer from a depression disorder. With proper action, denied claims for valid depression disability can be overturned and won for Social Security, Veterans Benefits, and long term disability (LTD) insurance claims.

We are attorney advocates for the disabled. With years of experience securing disability benefits for our clients, we offer you a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your depression disability claim. Don't Give Up! Call for a Free Consultation.

Causes of Depression:

Depression is not a sign of personal weakness. It is a real mental illness with real causes. The causes may be due to chemistry, biology, or life experiences:

  • Disorders of the brain caused by chemical imbalance
  • Genetics
  • Emotional or physical trauma
  • Hormonal imbalance

Depression can also co-exist with a serious or painful medical condition, or as a reaction to the condition. In fact, depression is one of the most common secondary conditions associated with severe injury or illness.

There are different forms of depressive disorders, including major depression, dysthemic disorder, minor depression and bipolar disorder. The symptoms of depression, and severity of these symptoms, will vary among individuals.

Depression is an illness that affects the whole person, leading to feelings of hopelessness and despair. People who suffer from depression have trouble concentrating, sleeping or eating, and have lost interest in taking care of daily activities. They may exhibit avoidance of people, profound grief, and lack of energy. Depression carries a high risk of suicide.

Depression and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

If Social Security has denied your depression disability claim, the law allows you to have your claim reconsidered or appealed. As an attorney who is Board Certified in Social Security Disability law, I will help you throughout the entire process, all the way through a final appeal in federal court.

To win Social Security Disability for depression, you need to prove one thing – that your depression is severe enough to stop you from working.

To determine a person’s eligibility for benefits, the SSA adheres to their Listing of Impairments. The listing for depression disability is found under Mental Disorders, listing 12.04 – Affective Disorders. If your condition is severe enough to satisfy these requirements, you will be considered disabled.

SSA will need medical evidence to support your exact limitations. This means they will want to see medical and psychiatric records from doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists, mental health clinics, and all other facilities where you have received treatment.

They will examine how your depression prevents you from performing routine daily activities, and any functional limitations that prevent you from working. Our knowledge of the laws that drive the SSDI approval process can be critical to your case. As disability attorneys, we are experienced with the medical evidence and additional documentation required to sustain a depression disability claim. We ensure that all evidence is prepared and presented in the clearest, most favorable manner.

There is no charge for us to review your claim. If we take your case, fees for our legal services are set by the Social Security Administration (SSA), and you do not pay our fees unless we successfully resolve your claim.

Veterans Claims for Depression Disability

Depressive disorders are often endured by veterans who have lived through the emotional stress of war − indeed following the death or injury of comrades, living through unbearable conditions, or struggling with their own physical injuries and disorders.

If you are a veteran of the United States military services and your VA claim for depression disability was denied, Marc Whitehead & Associates would be proud to assist you. We provide skilled representation before the Board of Veterans Appeals, the regional VA office, and the US Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

Veteran's disability benefits are based on the establishment of a service-connected impairment. A disability rating is assigned based on the severity of the impairment, or combination of impairments.

To arrive at the rating, the VA relies on the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities. Depression is listed under Mental Disorders, and further identified under Mood Disorders. VA disability payments are then awarded based on this assessment combined with the veteran’s ability to work and earn a living.

Depressive disorders may begin because of experiences or injuries the veteran had while in the service. Traumatic brain injury is frequently responsible for the onset of depression. Depressive illness may also be closely related to other service-connected disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It may be months or years before the veteran actually seeks medical treatment and receives a diagnosis of depression. Our veterans claim attorneys understand this, and are experienced at helping veterans receive service connection for depression disability.

We are intimately aware of the difficulties encountered by veterans with depressive disorders. Hundreds of veterans who have been denied their rightful benefits have sought legal help from Marc Whitehead & Associates, and it would be our honor to assist you.

Claiming Depression Disability on a LTD Insurance Policy

Whether you have long term disability (LTD) insurance privately or through your employer, it is the insurance carrier who will process your claim. It has become routine practice for many insurance companies to deny legitimate claims for depression, or devalue the claim. If you have been unfairly denied benefits for a depression disorder, we can help you take legal action.

Insurance claims for depression disability present their own unique set of challenges. Our experience with LTD claims for depression and other mental impairments has given us a powerful arsenal for defense against the insurance companies’ frequent denial tactics.

One such argument from insurers regarding depression disorders is that the condition is not severe enough to qualify for disability. Symptoms of depression are emotional and abstract, sometimes with highs and lows, and difficult to measure. This opens doors for the insurer to claim that you do not meet their definition of disabled. When the insurance company uses these and other arguments to deny your claim, an experienced attorney will know how to fight the denial.

For this reason, the credibility of the claimant is very important. We are adept at establishing the credibility of our clients, with great care made to show consistency between the insured’s complaints, medical history, and the accounts of a spouse or other third party who can attest to the difficulties faced by the claimant.

You may suffer from depression as you endure another serious illness or painful condition. Most insurance policies have a clause that lists mental disorders as “mental/nervous conditions” for which the benefit pay period is limited to 2 years. In their attempt to reduce the payment terms, your insurer may try to award benefits only for depression disability under the mental/nervous condition clause, with no separate recognition of the physical disability. When this is the case, we will ensure on appeal that your claim solidly demonstrates the depression is a disability separate from the physical disability.

Our attorneys are skilled negotiators for insurance policy settlements, and we will aggressively litigate on your behalf in state or federal court. You can find much more information about what it takes to win a claim for long term disability benefits for depression and other mental impairments by reading Marc Whitehead’s free book, Disability Insurance Policies – How To Unravel the Mystery and Prove Your Claim.

If you are fighting depression and disability benefits have been denied, we’re here to help.

We welcome anyone who has been denied disability benefits for depression to call our firm for direct answers and decisive legal help. We are here to fight for your rights for long-term disability coverage, Social Security Disability Income and Veterans Disability benefits.

Is depression a disability? Yes, a very real one. Please call our attorneys toll free at 800-562-9830 or ask a lawyer a question about your depression disability claim now. We represent the disabled nationwide. Don't Give Up! Call for a Free Consultation.

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