Depression is a very serious condition affecting a majority of Americans. As with most conditions, the severity of an individual’s symptoms varies drastically from person to person. Some people suffer from only minor depressive symptoms, while others suffer from severe depression affecting every aspect of their life. One of the more severe symptoms of depression includes suicidal thoughts. Thoughts of suicide are characterized by thoughts of death, including the formulation of a plan to carry out one’s own death. Thoughts of suicide are not something to be taken lightly, as they can have a very serious consequence. In fact, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 45,000 Americans taking their own lives every year.
Treatment for depression, while widely available, is not always capitalized on. This can be for many reasons, such as financial constraints, religious beliefs, or simply a disbelief in mental health treatment. Many people believe mental health conditions are either not real or do not require treatment. This ideology could not be farther from the truth. In fact, it is estimated that 25% of Americans suffer from depression. If you know someone who is suffering from depression or know someone who is having thoughts of suicide, the best thing you can do is to help them receive treatment. It is estimated that 80% of Americans suffering from depression are treated successfully.
Should You Apply for Disability Benefits?
If you have sought treatment for depression and you continue to experience suicidal thoughts, you should consider applying for disability benefits. If your thoughts of suicide are so great as to pose a barrier to employment, the social security disability program may be the right fit for you. This program provides not only a monthly monetary benefit but may also provide much-needed health insurance.
To apply for this program, you first need to consider if you are able to work or not. If your depression and suicidal thoughts prevent you from working in any capacity, then you should submit an application. Once your application is submitted, the social security administration (SSA) will evaluate the level of your limitations, both physically and mentally. While depression affects an individual’s mental ability, it often has a secondary effect upon your physical abilities as well, such as causing fatigue, decreased concentration, and memory limitations.
In evaluating the severity of your condition, SSA will first consider whether your depression meets or equals one of their listed conditions that is known to be automatically disabling. In terms of depression, this condition is evaluated under Listing 12.04. SSA will review your medical records to determine if the diagnosis, symptoms and treatment recommendations fall under the listed requirements. If you are not found to meet or equal the listing for depression, SSA will then consider your functional capacity. Meaning, the most you can do in spite of your limitations. Once that determination is made, SSA will review the job requirements for both your past work and also the job requirements for other work in the national economy. If your limitations preclude you from performing past work or other work you will then be found disabled.
Suffering from depression with thoughts of suicide can be a lonely situation. If you find yourself in this position where you are unable to work, call an experienced disability attorney for help answering the question, “Should you apply for disability benefits?”.