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Rice Law Office Blog

This blog reviews important legal issues including: personal injury, employee compensation, workers compensation, discrimination and wrongful termination.

MIND-BODY CONNECTION: DEPRESSION AND ITS ROLE IN MAXIMIZING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

MIND-BODY CONNECTION: DEPRESSION AND ITS ROLE IN MAXIMIZING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS

While it is certainly possible to receive social security based upon one impairment alone, it is not likely. Most cases are won by individuals suffering from multiple impairments, both physical and mental. The fact is, our mind and body are connected and chances are if one isn’t functioning correctly, the other is also impacted.

Indeed, claimants who suffer from a severe disabling condition almost always have accompanying depression and/or anxiety. When you consider the effects of a serious injury or condition, this outcome should be expected. Serious injuries and medical conditions inevitably lead to altered work routines, additional financial pressure because of lack of income, as well as changes in the types of social, athletic and recreational activities in which you can engage. This creates stress and anxiety which can be disruptive in personal and family relationships.

Moreover, the strong medications used to treat chronic pain often effect sleep patterns and even cognition. Lack of sleep combined with powerful pain medications can affect concentration- many patients have described feeling like they are in a fog, or just "not themselves" any more.

It should come as no surprise that serious physical disabilities are often accompanied by depression and anxiety. What you may not realize, is that it is crucial these mental health symptoms are included in the social security disability application. In determining whether an individual’s physical or mental impairment are of a sufficient severity in order to be eligible for social security benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) must consider in accordance with the law (42 USC § 423(d)(2)(B) the combined effect of all of the individual’s impairments.

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