Nearly three million Americans filed application for SSI benefits in 2009 and many of them will receive their SSI for depression. Depression falls under the category of a mental illness and mental illnesses, if properly diagnosed and documented, do qualify for benefits. But there are four qualifications that you must meet.
In order to receive SSI you must have depression that is "medically determinable".
This simply means that you have been medically evaluated by competent doctors who use acceptable testing to determine the true nature of your illness. This means that there is a diagnosis and a prognosis concerning your future ability to function in daily life and most importantly, your ability to function at work. A doctor has performed tests, prescribed medicines, referred you to specialists and made a real and protracted attempt to remedy your situation.
Your depression must meet a durational test.
Duration means that this particular mental illness must meet the same standard as a physical illness or accident which means that you must have experienced debilitating depression for at least a year. This requirement alone makes it a very wise decision to seek medical treatment for your depression. Far too many Americans do not recognize depression as being a legitimate disability worthy disease and neglect taking care of their situation. Are you depressed? Get to the doctor and start an electronic record of your condition.
There must be documentation of the severity of your depression
There are millions of Americans who do not treat their depression and they are totally functional. The same is true of many folks who do treat their depression and are not effected negatively by their condition. They are regular in their work attendance and performance and they suffer no strains in their relationships because of their condition. But there are multitudes of unfortunate souls who despite every effort to treat their condition they are just not functional in the areas mentioned. These inabilities should be documented thoroughly. By now you should understand that "documentation" is one of the most important concepts when trying to get SSI for depression.
Finally, you must have a diagnosis from a licensed psychiatrist.
Most sufferers will initially seek the help of their family doctor or internal medicine practitioner. However, if you feel like your condition may force you to apply for SSI or SSDI then you should seek the treatment and advice of a psychiatrist. These gifted physicians can give you specialized treatment and they are the only ones that the SSA will accept an official diagnosis from.