how much disability can you get for depression and anxiety

Mariah Brown

written by

Mariah Brown

update on

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on the topic of how much disability you can get for depression and anxiety. If you’re here, you likely have firsthand experience or know someone who is struggling with these conditions. We understand that navigating the world of disability benefits can be overwhelming, so we’re here to provide you with valuable information that can potentially make a significant impact on your life. Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

how much disability can you get for depression and anxiety

As someone who has personally dealt with the challenges of depression and anxiety, I know how crucial it is to have financial support during difficult times. It’s no secret that mental health conditions can greatly impact a person’s ability to work and function in society. In this article, we’ll explore the possibilities of obtaining disability benefits specifically for depression and anxiety, providing insights that could lead you towards a more stable and secure future.

Understanding Disability Benefits for Depression and Anxiety

Exploring the Eligibility Criteria

Before we delve into the specifics of how much disability you can receive for depression and anxiety, it’s essential to familiarize ourselves with the eligibility criteria. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is responsible for determining if an individual qualifies for disability benefits. To be eligible, your depression and anxiety must meet certain criteria:

1. A diagnosed mental health condition: You must have a formal diagnosis of depression and/or anxiety from a licensed medical professional.

2. Severe limitations: Your condition should have a significant impact on your ability to work, perform daily activities, and engage in social interactions.

3. Duration: The duration of your symptoms must be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.

4. Compliance with treatment: You should be actively seeking and undergoing treatment to improve your condition, such as therapy, medication, or other appropriate interventions.

The Importance of Medical Evidence

When applying for disability benefits, gathering comprehensive medical evidence is crucial. This evidence should include records of diagnoses, treatment history, medications, test results, and statements from healthcare professionals. The more supporting evidence you can provide, the stronger your case becomes.

Additionally, it’s important to note that even if you have a diagnosis for depression and anxiety, it doesn’t guarantee automatic approval for disability benefits. The severity and impact of your symptoms will play a significant role in the decision-making process.

The Role of Social Security Disability Programs

The Social Security Administration offers two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

SSDI provides benefits to individuals who have worked and paid Social Security taxes for a sufficient duration. On the other hand, SSI benefits those with limited income and resources. The eligibility requirements differ for each program, but both consider medical evidence and functional limitations when making decisions.

The Determination Process for Disability Benefits

Initial Application Process

The first step in seeking disability benefits is submitting an application to the SSA. The application should include detailed medical information and supporting documentation that demonstrates how your depression and anxiety significantly impair your ability to work.

During the initial review, the SSA assesses your application to determine if you meet the non-medical requirements, such as work history and income thresholds. If you qualify, your case proceeds to the next phase.

Review by Disability Determination Services (DDS)

At this stage, your application is forwarded to the DDS, which evaluates your medical evidence, functional limitations, and residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC assessment considers your physical and mental abilities, determining what kind of work, if any, you can perform.

Requesting a Reconsideration

If your application is denied, you have the option to request a reconsideration within a specific timeframe. During this process, a different claims examiner reviews your application, taking into account any additional evidence you provide. It’s essential to carefully compile and submit any new information that reinforces your case.

Debunking Common Myths

Myth 1: Depression and anxiety are not considered disabilities.

Fact: Depression and anxiety are recognized as disabilities by the Social Security Administration, as long as they significantly impair your functioning and meet the necessary criteria.

Myth 2: Everyone with depression and anxiety automatically qualifies for disability benefits.

Fact: Meeting the eligibility criteria and providing substantial medical evidence is crucial for obtaining disability benefits. It’s not an automatic process, and each case is evaluated based on specific circumstances.

Myth 3: You need to be unable to perform any job to qualify for disability benefits.

Fact: While the severity of your condition and its impact on your ability to work is taken into consideration, the SSA evaluates if you can perform any substantial gainful activity. They consider whether you can adjust to a different type of work based on your functional limitations and past work experience.


1. Can I apply for disability benefits for depression and anxiety?

Yes, you can apply for disability benefits if your depression and anxiety significantly limit your ability to function and meet the eligibility criteria outlined by the Social Security Administration.

2. How much disability can I get for depression and anxiety?

The amount of disability benefits for depression and anxiety varies on a case-by-case basis. It depends on factors such as your work history, income, severity of symptoms, and functional limitations. It’s best to consult the SSA or a disability attorney for personalized guidance.

3. Do I need a lawyer to apply for disability benefits?

Hiring a disability lawyer can be beneficial, especially if your initial application is denied. They can help navigate the appeals process, gather necessary evidence, and provide legal guidance to maximize your chances of success.

4. Can I work while receiving disability benefits for depression and anxiety?

Yes, it is possible to work on a limited basis while receiving disability benefits for depression and anxiety. However, there are income thresholds and restrictions you must adhere to. Consult the SSA or a disability attorney to understand the specific guidelines.

5. How long does the disability benefits application process take?

The length of the application process can vary, ranging from a few months to over a year. It depends on factors like the complexity of your case, the backlog of applications, and any potential appeals. Patience and perseverance are key during this process.

6. Can my disability benefits be terminated?

Yes, disability benefits can be terminated under certain circumstances. The SSA periodically reviews cases to assess whether individuals still meet the eligibility criteria. It’s important to continue seeking treatment and providing updated medical evidence to maintain your benefits.

7. Can I apply for disability benefits if I have other medical conditions?

Absolutely. If you have other medical conditions in addition to depression and anxiety that significantly impact your ability to work, you can apply for disability benefits. Each condition will be evaluated individually in the determination process.

8. What if my depression and anxiety are caused by another medical condition?

If your depression and anxiety are directly caused by another medical condition, commonly known as a secondary condition, it’s essential to provide medical evidence that establishes the link between the conditions. This evidence strengthens your case for obtaining disability benefits.

9. Can I receive disability benefits if I have not tried therapy or medication?

While seeking treatment is strongly encouraged, it is not a requirement to have tried therapy or medication in order to apply for disability benefits. However, providing evidence that you have pursued appropriate treatment can significantly strengthen your case.

10. Can I apply for disability benefits on behalf of a child with depression and anxiety?

Yes, as a parent or legal guardian, you can apply on behalf of a child with depression and anxiety. The eligibility criteria and application process may differ slightly for children, so it’s important to consult the SSA for specific guidelines.


We hope this comprehensive guide has provided you with valuable insights into how much disability you can get for depression and anxiety. Remember, navigating the disability application process can be complex, so it’s crucial to seek guidance from the Social Security Administration or a disability attorney who can provide personalized advice based on your unique circumstances. Your mental health matters, and we wish you the best of luck in your journey towards obtaining the support you need.


1. Social Security Administration:

2. National Alliance on Mental Illness:

Leave a Comment