Anxiety entails more than occasionally feeling anxious. Some of the characteristics of an anxiety disorder include persistent feelings of uneasiness, tension, and apprehension. For individuals who are disabled due to anxiety disorder, the feelings of alarm and terror are overwhelming. Also, situations happening in everyday life and ordinary events can easily provoke these feelings.
Generalized anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that affects many people, not only in America but globally. The disorder develops gradually but can be apparent at any age and gender.
Some risk factors of an anxiety disorder include low economic status, family history of mental health disorders, and separation or divorce. Increased cortisol levels, the afternoon's stress hormone, is also a risk factor for anxiety disorder.
Being shy in childhood and exposure to life challenges, such as trauma and loss of a loved one, can also increase the risks of anxiety disorders.
Qualifying Under Disability Listing
Individuals with anxiety worry persistently and excessively about several things, such as work, health, money, family, and more. Medical professionals diagnose people with anxiety when they report being preoccupied with worries most of the time. However, you can also tell when getting anxious by looking out for these symptoms.
- Uncontrollable obsessive thoughts
- Getting fatigued easily
- Intrusive memories
- Muscle tension
- Feeling on the edge or restless
- Sweating and shaking
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of fear and panic
- Increased heart rate
- Recurring nightmares
- Sleep concerns, such as sleep that doesn’t refresh or difficulty staying or falling asleep
Anxiety ranges from mild to debilitating. It may prevent people from venturing into new experiences, enjoying social situations, traveling, or pursuing work advancements. Anxiety disorder is different from normal feelings of nervousness.
These symptoms happen for no reason and don’t fade away. These reactions can be sources of potential terror. Anxiety disorders can push individuals to take extreme measures like staying indoors for days to avoid things that trigger their anxiety.
Does Social Security Consider Anxiety to be Disabling?
Anxiety disorders, as stated above, can interfere with your work duties. Social Security considers anxiety disorders as disabling, which means that an individual can get Social Security Benefits.
However, it depends on the severity of your anxiety disorder symptoms, the strength of your medical evidence, the effectiveness of treatment options, age, type of work, and education level. Anxiety disorder claims primarily depend on relatedly, the strength of medical treatment, and credibility.
Treatment entails hospitalizations, psychiatric treatment, and medications, among others. A convincing medical treatment record can increase the chances of getting approved for disability benefits.
Individuals suffering from severe anxiety face challenges adhering to medical appointments and treatment regiments, which hurts a disability claim's credibility. Consequently, it can limit the availability of convincing medical evidence.
Types of Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
You may have social anxiety if a social interaction causes excess worry. A common symptom is the desire to remain indoors for fear of receiving judgments from others. Social anxiety disorder makes it challenging to stay in employment for a long time and maintain friendships.
2. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
People with this anxiety disorder suffer excessive tension and worry and chronic anxiety. They experience these signs even when there is nothing or little to provoke the feelings. The state of anxiety must exist for at least six months for the medical professional to make the diagnosis.
3. Panic Disorder
Individuals experiencing panic disorder have unexpected and recurring episodes of intense fear. The feelings are accompanied by physical signs, such as chest pain, abdominal distress, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. You could have a panic disorder if the panic attacks happen more than once a year.
Eligibility for Disability
Individuals eligible for SSI or SSD are those that have an official diagnosis for anxiety disorder. However, the Social Security Administration undertakes a stringent evaluation process. You may be denied for the first application even if you qualify.
You have to meet some limitations in activities for you to be eligible for the disability benefits. Your anxiety must have lasted for not less than a year and prevent you from working full-time for you to qualify for the benefits.
Eligibility for the benefits also requires the anxiety to be life-threatening, especially if the victim has other diseases or disorders.
Requirements for Disability Benefits
Here are some of the conditions that you must meet when applying for Social Security disability benefits or insurance:
- You have other physical disabilities or mental health illnesses
- Diagnosis of anxiety by a specialist or physician
- The stress is chronic, and it interferes with your ability to complete daily tasks or work
- The person is under treatment or regularly visits a specialist or doctor
Medical Evidence Necessary for Disability Benefits
The SSA wants you to present the evidence of psychological evaluations or tests diagnosing you with an anxiety disorder. Make sure that the medical evidence you receive specifies the exact type of anxiety disorder. Remember to get treatment notes from your doctor indicating that you have been experiencing signs of anxiety.
Most importantly, victims must explain the results of their stress. For instance, you may explain what happens when you are at work and experience a panic attack. You can also get a medical opinion from your psychiatrist concerning your anxiety levels, the effects of the disorder on your work duties, and your anxiety triggers.
After Applying for Benefits
After filing a claim, it gets assigned to an expert for review. Individuals may attend an interview or undergo mental examinations with an SSA-approved psychiatrist to verify the disorder. The procedure may take several months, but more medical documentation and evidence increase your claim approval chances.
Denial of a Disability Claim
Anxiety disorders are among the common mental illnesses in the US. Since anxiety can be challenging to objectively and medically measure, anxiety disorder victims face claims denial to receive disability benefits. Individuals suffering from anxiety understand the challenges of dealing with insurance companies and living with the disorder.
If your application for SSD benefits gets denied and you suffer from severe anxiety, it’s better to consult with an experienced lawyer. Victims of anxiety disorders have 60 days to file an appeal. Your chance of winning the appeal for disability benefits is better when you work with an experienced law firm or attorney.
Qualifying for disability benefits based on anxiety can be challenging. That’s why you need an experienced attorney to help you collect evidence and convince the SSA that you are disabled enough to get the benefits.
Remember to collect the necessary medical documents to prove that the anxiety symptoms interfere with your workability.