Many people in Pennsylvania or New Jersey have suffered from depression at least once during their lifetime. Sometimes, it is an isolated bout that does not have long-lasting effects. However, for other people it may be a chronic and debilitating condition that changes the trajectory of their life. If you are someone whose life has been seriously derailed by depression, you may be wondering whether you can qualify for disability benefits for your illness. 

The National Alliance on Mental Illness, or NAMI, states that when working is no longer possible due to your mental illness, you may be eligible to receive federal assistance. There are two programs administered by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provide monthly help in terms of income and health insurance until you are well enough to return to your employment. 

One program is Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, or SSDI. In terms of how much you receive, this benefit reflects how much you have paid into the FICA system. To qualify for SSDI, you must be able to prove: 

  • That you have a serious impairment through medical documentation 
  • That you have been unable to work for at a minimum the previous 12 months 
  • That you have worked and paid into Social Security for 5 out of the past 10 years 

The other program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), mandates that in addition to proving your prolonged impairment, you must demonstrate that you have low income and assets. However, certain assets are excluded from this accounting, including your primary residence. 

This information is here for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.