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I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder recurrent and have a GAF score of 60. Will this help a social security claim?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have been taken off work by neurologist and psychiatrist due to depression for 11 and 1/2 months. after 12 months has passed being off work is it easier to obtain social security benefits? My doctor said he will back me up for a social security disability claim.

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The GAF score of 60 may not be too helpful, since it falls at the high end of the "moderate" range for such scores. Your doctor's willingness to support your claim could be very helpful, as long as his treatment notes back up what he says in whatever statement he provides. Your neurologist and psychiatrist taking you off work for that long could also be very helpful. I would urge you to get a lawyer who handles SSD claims as a significant part of his/her practice. As has been said often before in this space, NOSSCR (800-431-2804) is a good referral source for such attorneys. Good luck!


The doctor's report needs to confirm what the listings require. It's a great start tho.

Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.


GAF scores, in isolation, are useless. What is more important is that your Doctors express your limits specifically relating to work functions. These opinions must be supported by the records. Hence, skilled legal help is a good idea.

No attorney client relationship is created by the above response. The above response if for general information only. Nothing in the responses should be construed as legal advice for any personal injury, workers' compensation, Social Security disability case, or any other type of case. While we provide legal services to those in Oklahoma, nothing can replace actual legal services provided by engaging an attorney.


I agree with the prior posts that GAF scores are not particularly helpful unless they are consistent with and backed up by medical records that support a finding of disability. Your doctor's willingness to submit reports and forms on your behalf, provided that these are consistent with medical records, will be of more help to your claim than a GAF score. While a score of 60 may not be that helpful, however, scores that are consistently below 50 can be helpful if they are supported by treating physician records that set forth how a claimant's mental/emotional impairments affect their ability to engage in competitive employment.

Provision of information in response to this question does not create an attorney-client relationship and the questioner is encouraged to seek and retain legal counsel in order to discuss their question(s) further and directly with legal counsel. Respondent is licensed to practice law in Georgia and Tennessee for non-Federal matters with a primary focus on personal injury and workers' compensation, and is also authorized by the Social Security Administration to represent claimants nationwide in Social Security Disability claims. The questioner is advised that some responses on this site are provided by attorneys who are not licensed in the respective jurisdiction of the questioner, and any advice from attorneys on this site concerning state-specific areas such as workers' compensation by attorneys who are not licensed in the applicable and appropriate jurisdiction should be viewed as for general educational purposes and should generally be given lesser weight than responses by attorneys licensed in the governing jurisdiction. Response to this question further assumes that the questioner is not currently represented by counsel, and if this is not the case, then it is recommended that any further questions or concerns be directed to their current legal counsel.

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