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How does anxiety qualify as a disability?

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2022 | Social Security Disability

When most people think about disabilities, they imagine physical injuries, conditions or illnesses. However, disabilities do not have to affect your body. If you have an anxiety disorder that impacts your daily life and restricts you, you may be eligible for disability.

According to the SSA, a patient needs to show eligibility are various documents.

What types of anxiety disorder does the SSA recognize?

Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, agoraphobia, general anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Symptoms of anxiety include restlessness, irritability, muscle tension, fatigue and sleep disturbances. If you have panic disorder, you may suffer from persistent panic attacks and worry about additional panic attacks.

You may have disproportionate fear about at least two types of situations. These situations may include the following:

  • Fear of public transportation
  • Fear of leaving your home
  • Fear of crowds
  • Fear of lines
  • Fear of being in open spaces

If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you need to show that you have repetitive behaviors that reduce your anxiety or involuntary intrusive thoughts.

What symptoms do you have to prove?

You have to prove that you have a severe and persistent mental illness. You need medical documentation for the last two years. The documentation should show that you currently seek treatment, psychosocial support, mental health therapy or other structured settings to diminish your symptoms. The proof should also show that you have minimal capacity to adapt to change.

If you have mental illness and cannot adapt to daily life or work-life demands, you may qualify for disability. If you have extreme limitations because of your mental health, it may impact you similarly to a physical disability.