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Social Security Eligibility Lawyer Buffalo, NY

Social Security Eligibility Lawyer Buffalo, NY Social Security Eligibility Lawyer Buffalo, NY 

It is estimated that in any given year, about 15 million adults in New York and the United States experience clinical depression. This comes out to about 7 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 18. With these numbers in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that the Social Security Administration sets out specific guidelines for the evaluation of social security disability claims with depression and other mental disorders as the basis. If you are trying to obtain Social Security benefits, contact a social security eligibility lawyer Buffalo, NY clients trust.

According to the official United States Social Security website, Section 12.00 sets out the guidelines for evaluating Social Security disability claims filed on the basis of a mental disorder. The requirements necessary for a successful social security disability claim due to a mental disorder are:

  •       A documented medically determinable impairment.
  •       Recognition of the limitations that the impairment may impose on the claimant’s ability to work.
  •       Consideration of whether these limitations have lasted at least one year or are expected to last continuously for that period of time.

The subsection of the guidelines that specifically addresses depression describes the affective disorder as a feeling of intense sadness, in addition to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness. These symptoms must last for an extended period of time, and prevent normal, daily functioning. A social security lawyer Buffalo, NY residents recommends knows that a successful claim for social security benefits based on depression, covered by Section 12.04, necessarily involves depression so severe that four of the following symptoms are present as part of the claimant’s condition:

  •       Decreased interest in daily activities
  •       Decline in energy
  •       Change in appetite
  •       Sleep disturbance
  •       Difficulty concentrating
  •       Lack of physical activity
  •       Feeling worthless or guilty
  •       Hallucinations, delusions, or episodes of paranoia
  •       Thoughts of suicide

Not only would the claimant have to prove at least four of the above listed symptoms, but they must also show that the symptoms alleged must cause at least two of the following for a successful claim that would result in benefits being awarded: serious difficulty in daily living activities, social functioning, focusing, or recurring, extensive periods of deteriorating symptoms.

Depression is certainly not the only mental disorder that can serve as the basis for a disability claim. Section 12.00 of the guidelines sets out a number of additional mental disorders that a claimant may allege as the basis of their social security disability claim.  

Have You Been Denied Benefits?

It can be difficult to sustain an award of benefits for a social security disability claim, especially if it is based on a mental disorder.  An experienced social security eligibility lawyer in Buffalo, NY can help. Contact Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy, Attorneys at Law to schedule a free and confidential consultation to learn how our legal team can help. Call our office today.


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As a disabled claimant, I can’t thank Hurwitz, Whitcher & Molloy enough for guiding me through these past fourteen years. No one else wanted my Workers’ Compensation case. No one! It was complicated. There were a lot of issues that made things difficult. They stuck with it well over a decade with preparedness, intelligence and grace. Mister Melvyn, he’s a good guy. Cathy, she’s so amazing.

- Salli B.

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