Is Anxiety A Disability?
Anxiety disorders are mental health conditions that are characterized by constant feelings of uneasiness, tension, and apprehension. It’s not only socially limiting, but also immensely disruptive to every area of a person’s life. Disorders involving panic, phobias, OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and social anxiety can qualify for a disability allowance for anxiety if they are severely debilitating and well documented.
If the anxiety disorder is medically documented as severe and persistent over the course of the last two years and the applicant can prove that he has been receiving continuous medical attention or staying in a structured setting, the applicant can qualify for the benefits if it’s proven that he has minimal capacity to meet the demands of ordinary life or the changes to his environment.
Different standards are applied to the ones staying in protected or structured situations or taking psychological help or going through intense therapy that has brought their anxiety symptoms under control. The SSA believes that in situations like these, an individual’s functional abilities will seem better than usual in real-life situations where the demands and stress are greater.
You might be eligible to receive disability benefits if you have been diagnosed with any one of the disorders mentioned before, and it limits your ability of social functioning, leaving the house, concentrating, or managing the tasks associated with day-to-day living.
Can You Get Disability For Anxiety?
Every case of anxiety is not severe enough to make someone eligible for social security disability benefits. The benefits of social security disability for anxiety are only available to those who suffer a marked and severe impact on their lives due to the disability.
For instance, someone with mild anxiety, which can still go out and take care of his basic needs, will not qualify for the benefits. But someone who faces a considerable disruption with his ability to take part in typical daily activities might be eligible for it.
To add to the requirement that the disability has to be severe, the SSA (Social Security Administration) also requires it to be a long-term disability. This means the applicant must have been unable to work due to anxiety for at least twelve months at the time of his application or must have expected the condition to last for at least twelve months.
The SSA also offers guidelines on how severe the anxiety disorders must be to make an individual eligible to receive SSD or SSI for anxiety. The guidelines are there in the listing of impairments by the SSA, which covers all the details regarding the symptoms of anxiety disorders that are considered disabling.
How to Get Disability for Anxiety?
The SSA will believe that you are disabled only when you meet all the requirements of the disability listing found in its listing of impairments. The anxiety-related disorders are covered in listing 12.06.
Understanding marked and extreme limitations in securing the benefits plays a crucial role here. The Marked and extreme are the two terms used by the SSA to denote the extent of disability. Marked, in this case, is worse than a matter of moderate disability. It can be considered as a severely limiting condition.
Extreme is not as severe as a complete loss of ability, but it is still worse than a marked limitation. Extreme and marked are both based on the professional judgments of an SSA psychologist while reviewing medical evidence.
In order to meet the listing, you need to have the disorder diagnosed by a doctor, characterizing three or more of the following symptoms:
- Muscle tension
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Getting tired easily
- Sleep disturbances
Besides having no less than three of the characteristics mentioned above, you also need to prove that it severely impairs your average functioning ability. Most people have an extreme limitation in any given capacity or a marked problem (severe limitation) in any two of the assigned areas:
Using, remembering, or understanding information (the ability to use judgment, learn new skills, and understand instructions in any circumstance)
Social interactions with other people (the capacity of using socially apt behaviors)
Maintaining pace or concentrating in performing tasks (the capacity to complete tasks successfully)
Taking personal care or adapting to changes (self-control and personal skills)
Getting Disability for Anxiety without meeting the listing.
If your symptoms do not fit into any of the aforementioned serious conditions, you will have to try and get the benefits through medical-vocational allowances by showing that you don’t have enough ability to work.
The SSA might award disability benefits when the generalized anxiety of an individual is severe enough to prevent them from partaking in any kind of work. The determination of medical-vocational allowances is based on the functional capacity, work history, education, and age of an individual.
How an SSD lawyer can help in getting benefits for Anxiety?
After applying for the social security disability benefits, all claims are sent to the specialists for review. You might be asked to attend an interview or take a mental examination with an SSA approved psychologist or psychiatrist to verify your present condition. The process usually takes months, but the chances of getting approved increase remarkably based on the medical documentation and evidence you can provide.
In case of anxiety disorders, it is beneficial to hire an experienced attorney who understands the SSA regulations and can help you with getting the evidence needed to convince the SSA about your disability.
Here are the ways in which our experienced attorneys can come to your aid.
Identifying the claims that might meet the listing
You might not be aware that your condition is eligible for receiving a faster approval, but your attorney will be able to identify if your claim meets the listing quickly. If your lawyer can determine that your condition meets a listing, he/she will start carefully reviewing your file to ensure that all your medical evidence is to meet the SSA criteria.
Strengthening your claim by eliminating your weaknesses
Your attorney will take the necessary steps to strengthen your claim. If the SSA’s mental RFC is unfavorable, the lawyer will strive to identify the opportunities to discredit the chief examiner’s opinion, as the administrative law judges are heavily dependent on this opinion.
Effective interactions with doctors preparing the RFC
A skilled disability lawyer interacts with the doctors to overcome the concerns or objections a doctor might have about preparing the RFC. The staff members of a disability attorney’s office are well-versed in contact doctors’ offices to secure the required medical records.
You need the support of an experienced attorney to present the strongest possible case to the SSA, and this is where we come into the picture. So, get in touch with the legal experts at Khattar Law, LLC today for a free consultation.