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Social Security Disability for Depression or Bipolar

By gotdenied-administration-April 22, 2015

We represent a large number of claimants with depression and/or bipolar disorder. Social Security does recognize depression and bipolar disorder as a compensable mental illness. Social Security has created what they call a “Listing” for affective disorders, which is the category for depression and bipolar disorder. This is a criteria format to see if a claimant meets these elements, keep in mind, most of the cases we win when the claimant does not meet the criteria for depression or bipolar disorder. It does not mean you cannot win if you don’t meet the Social Security Listing. We send for records from your treating doctors and therapists, and write a Brief to help the judge understand the severity of your case, and offer the medical records to support a favorable decision. Below is an exact quote from the Social Security Administration, laying out the elements of the Listing for depression and bipolar disorder, it can be very confusing. If you have questions, please give us a call toll free at 855-846-8336, or fill out the evaluation box on the Home page, and we will promptly contact you.

2.04 Affective disorders: Characterized by a disturbance of mood, accompanied by a full or partial manic or depressive syndrome. Mood refers to a prolonged emotion that colors the whole psychic life; it generally involves either depression or elation.

The required level of severity for these disorders are met when the requirements in both A and B are satisfied, or when the requirements in C are satisfied.

A. Medically documented persistence, either continuous or intermittent, of one of the following:
1. Depressive syndrome characterized by at least four of the following:
a. Anhedonia or pervasive loss of interest in almost all activities; or
b. Appetite disturbance with change in weight; or
c. Sleep disturbance; or
d. Psychomotor agitation or retardation; or
e. Decreased energy; or
f. Feelings of guilt or worthlessness; or
g. Difficulty concentrating or thinking; or
h. Thoughts of suicide; or
i. Hallucinations, delusions, or paranoid thinking; or
2. Manic syndrome characterized by at least three of the following:
a. Hyperactivity; or
b. Pressure of speech; or
c. Flight of ideas; or
d. Inflated self-esteem; or
e. Decreased need for sleep; or
f. Easy distractibility; or
g. Involvement in activities that have a high probability of painful consequences which are not recognized; or
h. Hallucinations, delusions or paranoid thinking; or
3. Bipolar syndrome with a history of episodic periods manifested by the full symptomatic picture of both manic and depressive syndromes (and currently characterized by either or both syndromes);
B. Resulting in at least two of the following:
1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or
3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration;
C. Medically documented history of a chronic affective disorder of at least 2 years’ duration that has caused more than a minimal limitation of ability to do basic work activities, with symptoms or signs currently attenuated by medication or psychosocial support, and one of the following:

1. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration; or
2. A residual disease process that has resulted in such marginal adjustment that even a minimal increase in mental demands or change in the environment would be predicted to cause the individual to decompensate; or
3. Current history of 1 or more years’ inability to function outside a highly supportive living arrangement, with an indication of continued need for such an arrangement.
If you have any questions, or would like us to prepare your application for you at no charge, please call the Law Offices of William Biebuyck PLLC toll free at 855-846-8336, or fill out the evaluation box on the Home page, and we will promptly contact you.