Can I Get Disability For Depression And Anxiety?

Are you struggling with depression or anxiety that makes it nearly impossible to fulfil your work responsibilities? Are you looking for information regarding disability benefits for depression and anxiety? Then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

In this article “Can I get disability for depression and anxiety?” we will review the available benefits and how to qualify for the insurance plans. Read on below. 

Can I get disability for depression and anxiety?

If you’re battling depression and anxiety disorder and have this question in mind can I get disability for depression and anxiety then the answer is YES! You can get disability for depression and anxiety. 

Depression and anxiety are both considered mental health disorders that can have a profound impact on a person’s life and also his career. 

Depressed people may be lethargic, lack motivation, self-destructive, and disinterest in their lives as well as work. They may even be suicidal. 

Anxious people also have a hard time leaving home or concentrating on work. Their anxiety and fear usually affect their work. It makes it impossible for an individual to work or to earn a living. 

Individuals with severe depression or severe anxiety or a combination of both may be able to collect disability through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) disability program. 

Can you qualify for disability with anxiety and depression?

Yes! If you’re suffering from anxiety or depression or any other mental health condition that limits your ability to perform daily tasks or work, you can qualify for disability benefits. 

Social Security Administration (SSA) administers the disability program which includes mental health disorders. The SSA administers two disability plans, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). 

If your depression is so severe, that you can’t work any type of job even with medical treatment, you may be able to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

Is it hard to get disability for depression?

Although depression is a common mental health problem included in Social Security Disability applications, which does not make it easy for people with depression to avail of disability benefits.

It can be quite a difficult task to prove depression to the Social Security Administration. Proper medical and clinical evidence and records are required to get disability insurance benefits. This is because the symptoms of depression are often difficult to measure. 

Moreover, depression should be severe enough to hinder daily work activities. Just being diagnosed with depression or any other symptoms of emotional stress is not enough. 

Is depression considered a disability?

Yes! That’s true. Depression is considered a mental health disability. It is added to the list of psychiatric disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Since depression is a significant mood disorder that mostly interferes with a person day to day function and work.  

How can I get disability for depression?

To get disability for depression, your condition must be severely debilitating and must qualify for the Social Security Administration’s criteria. You need to make sure your condition is well documented and your medical records support your case. 

The SSA relies mostly on medical and clinical records to determine if you qualify for the disability plan or not. 

You must be diagnosed with persistent clinical depression that has lasted at least one year or almost one year. Your depression can also be intermittent but severe. 

The SSA’s criteria include an impairment listing on depressive disorders set by them. Listing 12.04 is used to determine the severity of your depression. If your depression is severe enough to interfere with your functioning and prevents you from doing your daily activities, you can apply for disability benefits.  

You can apply online at or call at 1-800-772-1213 to start the disability application process. It usually takes between 3-5 months to get an initial decision regarding your claim from the SSA.

Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety are common mental health disorders present in our society. They include moderate to severe mood changes and are encountered as emotional and functional challenges.

Depression is a common mood disorder that has a negative effect on what you think, how you feel, and the way you act. Those who are depressed usually are feeling down, sad or upset and this might last for several days or even weeks. It is a leading cause of disability all over the world. 

Anxiety is a group of disorders that make a person anxious, fearful or worried. This can happen to anyone from time to time or usually before any big event or meeting. Severe long-lasting anxiety can be debilitating and may interfere with your most of daily tasks. 

Depression and anxiety can occur separately or simultaneously as well. Although each of them has its causes and factors, some of their symptoms overlap. These include irritability, insomnia or trouble sleeping, and difficulty concentration.

They both require respective treatments which may include psychotherapy (counselling) or medical treatment. 

What mental illnesses qualify for disability?

Many mental illnesses qualify for social security disability plan. Social Security has a disability handbook known as the “blue book”. This blue book is formally known as “the Disability Evaluation under Social Security Handbook”. 

This handbook contains all the mental illnesses and eligibility criteria to be considered as disabilities. They are mentioned below. 

The diseases include Schizophrenia, intellectual disorder, anxiety disorder, neurocognitive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and many more. 

It also includes affective disorders which include depression and bipolar disorder. Persuasive developmental disorders are also included. Drug addiction is not included.  

This handbook also has eligibility criteria for qualification to the disability plan. If anyone is suffering from these mental disorders and their condition meets the requirements, he/ she will automatically be granted the disability benefits.  

How long can you be on disability for depression?

There isn’t a specified period of disability plan, although as a general rule, most mood disorders get a one or two-year disability plan limitation. 

It mostly depends on the severity of the mental disorder. For example, if you’re suffering from severe depression which is hindering your work, you can qualify for a long-term disability plan. 

Policies may substantially vary. Most policies have clauses for Anxiety and depression which impose two-year limitations. 

Some other mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Schizophrenia, Dementia, etc. are exempted from this two-year limitation plan. Note that for depression, this 2-year limitation almost always applies. 

Can I go on short-term disability for depression?

You can file for short-term disability for depression but it requires a proper medical diagnosis. You’ll need to have proof that the issue you’ve been struggling with is short-termed.

The short-term disability is a type of disability benefit plan that provides compensation or replacement for your illness or injuries which are non-job related that makes it impossible to work for a limited period of time. 

Note that before taking a leave for short term disability plan, you should discuss with your psychiatrist. 

Also Check: Generalized anxiety disorder weight loss


Coping with depression and anxiety can become very challenging and it might adversely affect your career. This article aims to answer your query “Can I get disability for depression and anxiety?” and helps you determine if you can qualify or not.

Mental health illnesses should be perceived and dealt with similarly to physical health disorders. It’s important that you should know your job rights and claim disability benefits in case you’re suffering from any mental health issues. 

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