1. Social Security Disability
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  3. What Medical Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability?
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  5. Is Anxiety a Disability? Can You Get Disability For Anxiety?

Is Anxiety a Disability? Can You Get Disability For Anxiety?

What is Anxiety?

It’s not a bad thing to feel anxious from time to time. On the other hand, people with anxiety disorders tend to worry and fret excessively about routine events. It’s common for anxiety disorders to have episodes of severe anxiety and fear or terror that peak within minutes (panic attacks).

It is difficult to regulate these sensations of fear and panic; they are out of proportion to the actual risk and can linger for an extended period. You may choose to avoid certain places or circumstances to avoid experiencing these negative emotions. The symptoms may sometimes begin in childhood and extend until maturity.

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder (social phobia), particular phobias, and separation anxiety disorder are all examples of anxiety disorders. It is possible to suffer from multiple anxiety disorders at once. There are situations when a medical problem is the cause of an individual’s anxiousness.

Treatment is available for whatever type of anxiety you may be experiencing, and you may qualify for disability if you suffer from Anxiety.

Anxiety disorders can be classified into five broad categories:

Disorders of generalized anxiety

Those who suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) experience persistent anxiety, excessive worry, and tension despite the absence of any apparent triggers.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

For those who suffer from a kind of OCD known as “obsessive-compulsive disorder,” their thoughts (obsessions) and actions (compulsions) are constantly running through their minds (compulsions). Obsessive thoughts might lead to repetitive practices like hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning in the hopes of preventing or erasing them. However, these so-called “rituals” only bring short-term comfort, and failing to do them significantly worsens one’s stress.

Panic Disorder

One of the most common mental health conditions in the United States is panic disorder, defined by sudden and frequent bouts of acute terror followed by physical symptoms such as chest discomfort or heart palpitations.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Anxiety disorder PTSD can be caused by exposure to a traumatic incident or situation in which serious bodily injury occurred or was imminent. Personal assaults, natural or man-made disasters, accidents, and military warfare are all examples of traumatic events that may induce post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Phobia Against People (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Those with Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, suffer from an overpowering sense of self-consciousness in the midst of social interactions. In its most severe form, social phobia can be so pervasive that a person has symptoms nearly every time they are in the presence of other people, whether it be in a professional or informal setting, speaking in public, or even eating or drinking in public.

Is Anxiety a Disability?

Anxiety might be classified as a disability if there is compelling evidence that it impairs your ability to work. If you match the medical criteria stated in the SSA’s Blue Book and have accumulated sufficient work credits, the SSA will consider you disabled and you will be eligible for disability for anxiety.

Can I Get Disability For Anxiety Disorder?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) classifies anxiety disorders as Mental Disorders under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book.

Claiming Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits on the basis of an anxiety disorder diagnosis can be challenging because the medical evidence supporting the diagnosis is highly subjective and is based on difficult-to-document criteria, such as feelings and behavior that occur outside the doctor’s office and are reported to the doctor by the patient.

To be successful in obtaining disability benefits for an anxiety condition, you must produce a history of treatment by medical professionals, including your physician and a competent mental health practitioner, to demonstrate the recurring or persistent nature of your anxiety illness.

The Social Security Administration defines disability as “any medically determinable mental or physical impairment that has prevented an individual from being able to perform substantial work for twelve consecutive months, prevent an individual from working for twelve consecutive months, or is expected to result in death.” Ascertain that your medical paperwork indicates to the SSA in detail and precisely how your handicap impairs your capacity to perform on a daily basis.

If you claim for disability payments under the Anxiety-Related Disorders category, you must meet specific requirements.

One or more of the following is required:

  • Constant generalized anxiety accompanied by three of the following four symptoms:
  1. Motor tension
  2. Vigilance and scanning
  3. Autonomic hyperactivity, or
  4. Anticipatory worry.
  • Persistent irrational fear of a situation, object, or activity, accompanied by a strong desire to avoid the situation, object, or activity.
  • Severe panic attacks that occur at least once a week and are characterized by abrupt unpredictable moments of acute fear, uncertainty, horror, and a sense of impending doom.
  • Compulsions or obsessions that recur frequently and create significant distress.
  • Repeated intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience that generates significant distress.

At least two of the following must occur as a result of the circumstance described in above:

  • Significant difficulties keeping concentration.
  • Disadvantages in terms of persistence or tempo.
  • Repeated phases of decompensation, each longer in duration than the previous.
  • Significant difficulties maintaining social functioning; or restriction of daily normal tasks.

The circumstances indicated above must render you utterly incapable of functioning independently outside of your house. Even if your illness does not qualify you for total Social Security disability payments, you may still be eligible for a medical-vocational allowance.

Anxiety Disability

If you are unable to work due to an anxiety disorder, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits because of your Anxiety Disability. Although establishing total disability as a result of an Anxiety Disorder can be challenging due to the subjective nature of the diagnosis, collaborating with medical professionals and a qualified Social Security disability attorney or advocate to collect and present the necessary documentation to support your disability claim can help ensure that you present the most robust disability case.