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How can you qualify for disability benefits for anxiety?

Anxiety may be a normal part of life. Panic disorders are an entirely different matter altogether – it is more serious. Individuals with anxiety disorders often experience intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. These may also involve panic attacks. Panic attacks are recurring episodes of sudden bursts of intense anxiety and fear or terror that peak within minutes.

When these feelings of anxiety and panic interfere with daily activities and your ability to work, you may qualify for disability benefits. However, simply claiming that you have anxiety may not be sufficient. As with any medical condition, your claim must have clinical evidence.

Conditions that qualify you to file for disability benefits

Section 12.06 of the Social Security Administration’s listing of impairments specifies three conditions that should support your claim of anxiety keeping you from work:

  • Anxiety disorder. Restlessness, sleep disturbances, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension or concentration problems must accompany this.
  • Panic disorder. This must be in conjunction with panic attacks or agoraphobia, an unreasonable fear of public scenarios.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Together with an involuntary preoccupation with intrusive thoughts or repetitive motions that aim to reduce stress.

Apart from one of these three issues, you must also demonstrate limitations in standard mental functions. You may need help with concentrating. You may also need help understanding and applying instructions or information. It would be best if you also had problems interacting with others and adapting to new circumstances and situations.

What you can do if you do not meet these requirements

You may still qualify for SSD benefits for anxiety even if you fail to meet the requirements listed above. You must present documents to prove that you have a history of struggling with a severe and persistent medical disorder. Additionally, you should be receiving ongoing medical treatment for this disorder. You must also prove that you display marginal adjustment skills when dealing with environmental changes for at least two consecutive years.

Anxiety may be a normal part of life, but you can receive compensation for it if it keeps you from living your life to the fullest.