If you are ill or have been injured and are not able to work, you are probably dealing with a variety of emotions. Fears about your finances, worries about your ability to be a responsive spouse and parent, and changes in your self-perception can all cause sleepless nights. It is hard to be positive and optimistic when both your body and your career have taken a hit at the same time. If your physical condition causes you chronic pain, it is even more likely that you are suffering anxiety or depression in addition to your physical illness or injury.
Many newly disabled people do not tell their doctors about their symptoms, either because of embarrassment or because they feel that there is nothing that can be done. What many people do not realize, however, is that having anxiety or depression together with another diagnosis can increase your chances of being approved for Social Security Disability (SSD), but only if you tell your doctor and get treatment for your condition. Moderate anxiety and depression — the type that can rob your life of joy but does not result in a complete lack of functioning — is not enough, without more, to qualify for SSD. However, when you combine these conditions with physical symptoms, the combination can result in a finding of disability according to SSD guidelines.
If you use a mental condition as part of your application for SSD, there is a significant chance that your benefits will be approved for a period of time, after which your medical records will be reviewed again to determine whether you are still eligible. However, many people who get SSD based on physical symptoms alone are in the same situation. When your benefits come up for review, we can discuss your current situation and, if you still meet the definition of disability, we will make sure that Social Security has the information it needs to make the correct determination.
You can tell Social Security that you have started treatment for anxiety or depression even if you have already applied for benefits. Contact us to learn how you can add additional information to an open application.