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Obtaining disability benefits because of depression

West Virginia residents who experience symptoms of depression may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Ideally, those who request benefits because of depression symptoms will have medical evidence to back their claims. Evidence could include trips to the hospital, invoices from a therapist or other records that come from a licensed medical professional. Those who lack such evidence could be required to submit to a consultative examination (CE).

It is important to note that attending a CE won't necessarily improve a person's odds of obtaining benefits. Typically, the person conducting the exam has no history with the applicant. Therefore, it can be difficult to determine if an individual qualifies for benefits. Applicants will need to establish that they have specific symptoms that have resulted in an extended period of decompensation.

It must also be shown that even small changes in a person's living or working environment could cause a depressive episode to occur. Finally, an individual must show that his or her mental state will continue to be fragile outside of a supportive living environment. It is possible that an examiner will determine that an applicant doesn't meet this conditions. However, it may still be possible to qualify for benefits if certain symptoms of depression make it difficult or impossible to hold a job.

Those who meet the medical requirements for receiving SSD benefits may want to apply for them as soon as possible. An attorney may help a person better understand the process of obtaining benefits and how long it may take to receive them. If an initial application is denied, a legal representative may help with the appeal process. It is not uncommon for disability cases to be resolved during a hearing.

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Shawn Taylor, PLLC
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