Over the last decade or so, mental health has been gaining much more attention that it once did. This has made the topic less taboo, and the general public is gaining a broader understanding of the impact of mental health issues as well as the importance of seeking treatment when necessary.

While this change in public perception is having a positive effect, those who are diagnosed with common mental health conditions can still struggle to get by on a day-to-day basis. For some, their condition is so severe that it disallows them from obtaining and maintaining. This can only exacerbate matters, as those individuals struggle to make ends meet and secure the medical treatment they need and deserve.

Fortunately, Social Security disability benefits are available to those who qualify. In order to recover these benefits, though, a claimant must demonstrate that he or she meets certain requirements. As an example of a common mental health disorder that may qualify for disability benefits, let’s take a look at depression.

There are a couple of ways that depression can qualify an individual for Social Security disability benefits. One way is to show that the depression causes at least five pre-identified characteristics. Amongst these characteristics are significant disruptions to one’s sleeping and eating patterns, a growing disinterest in most activities, trouble concentrating, feelings of guilt, decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide. The characteristics that are present must also create an extreme limitation in one’s ability to interact with others, concentrate, remember things, or manage one’s own affairs.

This is just one way an individual can qualify for disability benefits when he or she suffers from depression. As you can see, it can be a complicated process. Claimants need to make sure that sound legal reasoning and medical facts that meet federal eligibility requirements back their arguments to the Social Security Administration. This is why many disabled individuals choose to seek legal assistance before moving forward with their claim.