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Lake County Social Security Lawyer Helps Explain Disability Benefits for Depression

Posted on April 20, 2015

doctor and patient Lake County Social Security LawyerDepression is a difficult mental condition with which to live, and those patients who feel they cannot work might need to contact a Lake County Social Security lawyer for legal advice when applying for Social Security benefits. The emotional ups and downs can be traumatic. Finding and keeping steady employment may be near impossible. Co-workers, family members and friends may find it difficult to connect with and understand you. Yet, as is true of everyone, you need money to survive. Without help, what can you do? Well, the Social Security Administration might be able provide aid, depending on the level of your disability. Most claimants seek the advice of a Lake County Social Security lawyer to avoid any unnecessary complications that might result in a denial or delay. Though no attorney can guarantee a certain result, a competent one knows the procedures, which means a significantly lesser chance of your making mistakes.

Longevity Is a Key Factor

All people suffer from depression during their lives. The world is a complex and stressful place. Eventually, all succumb to the pressure. For most people, these emotions prove ephemeral. They shake off the depression and get on with their normal lives. For this reason, when making decisions on whether to grant a Social Security disability claim for depression, the authorities pay attention to the length of the suffering. A year of continued depression represents the usual benchmark. Anything less than this time will not be enough to warrant a claim. Furthermore, you must produce evidence of a medical diagnosis that confirms the persistence of the condition. Any indication from an attending physician that you have shown signs of improvement can result in denial of your claim. In general, you must prove that for more than a year, you have been depressed and that this condition has prevented you from being able to work.

Level of Treatment

The authorities will also consider the level of your treatment. For example, if your doctor prescribes medication, that will play a significant factor. If the drug works, then your condition might be improving. Any such reduction of the depression might mean a denial of the requested benefits. Moreover, on the other hand, if you have been visiting a doctor and have not been prescribed anti-depression medication, the government might assume you are not sick enough to stop working and still reject the claim. Even the kind of medical provider visited can affect a Social Security disability decision. Having a social worker make the depression diagnosis is not always the best thing for you to do. The authorities might decide that person is unqualified to make such an important medical decision. The Social Security Administration often prefers claimants visit physicians who have specialized in mental disorders. Regardless of who says you have depression, it is best to stick with that provider and to follow all their medical advice. Any deviation from the course prescribed by the attending medical provider can mean being labeled in “noncompliance,” a valid reason to deny your claim.

Chemical Dependency

One central problem that can deride your Social Security disability claim is chemical dependency. Many suffering with depression seek relief in so-called self-medication. They begin drinking alcohol, in some cases. You probably know someone who has become an alcoholic while trying to drown away their sorrows. Likewise, there are those, perhaps you, who think that abusing drugs, whether prescription or illegal, is the key to feeling better. The temporary high comes before the inevitable downfall and return of the same negative feelings that existed before using the substance. If you have developed a dependency on alcohol or drugs, then you and your Lake County Social Security lawyer will face some serious challenges. The government views chemical dependency in a truly negative light. To establish a mental disability claim, you have to demonstrate that there is no other possible cause of the depression. Your alcohol or drug use could be more of a factor in your emotional state than anything else, the authorities will probably opine. Consequently, you will receive a claim denial, unless you work diligently with your lawyer to persuade them otherwise. You will have to prove that, despite your alcohol or drug use, the underlying condition is the result of depression. It might mean going sober for a time. Doing so could well prove that the depression remains even while you are off the substance in question.

Affective Disorders

The Social Security Administration has a list of disorders; if you suffer from one of these disorders, you could potentially recieve an automatic claim acceptance. It behooves anyone suffering from depression to receive an examination that checks for these psychoses. Your Lake County Social Security lawyer will probably have a complete listing of these conditions to help guide you and the medical provider. Bipolarity is one of the more prevalent affective disorders. The mood swings characteristic among bipolar individuals prevents them from functioning well in the workplace. The Social Security Administration understands that forcing these people to work is a problem for them and their colleagues. If you find that being bipolar makes it impossible for you to focus on the job, relate to co-workers or perform normal tasks, then you are good candidate for an automatic claim acceptance via an affective disorder.


The Social Security Administration delineates your level of disability on what they call your Residual Functional Capacity (RFC). This write-up explains the tasks you can perform on the job and those for which you are physically unqualified. Someone with severe mood swings will most likely not be allowed to work with the public. If you have severe memory loss, it is doubtful anyone would expect you to be able to handle money on the job. Check your RFC, along with your legal counsel, to ensure it contains accurate information.

Consult with a Lake County Social Security Lawyer for Additional Information

If you are disabled and need benefits to support yourself, it is best to consult with a Lake County Social Security lawyer, such as one at the John Paul Oreh Law Office, at (216) 896-0935, for advice.


Social Security Disability Library