Anxiety Disorder and getting SSDI benefitsIf you are in a stressful situation anxiety is normal and natural. Too much anxiety, however, is likely to negatively impact your day-to-day living. Anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder are not normal and may be the result of genetic, environmental, psychological, and developmental factors.
Signs & Symptoms of an anxiety disorderAnxiety disorders affect an estimated 40 million Americans, with women more likely to experience problems than men. So how do you know if you have an anxiety disorder? Most anxiety disorders, although they may have different symptoms, are generally triggered by excessive dread or irrational fear. Anxiety disorders can often be successfully treated, but the first step is to see a doctor and make sure to get the correct diagnosis. After you have received the proper diagnosis you may receive additional treatments, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or medication. Therapy is especially useful to help claimants confront their fears and desensitize themselves to situations that can trigger certain anxieties. For instance, claimants with OCD who repetitively wash their hands may be exposed to certain dirt and then try to wait longer and longer to wash their hands, thus teaching them strategies to cope with their anxiety from waiting.
Social Security Disability Insurance and Anxiety DisordersUnfortunately, some claimants find that even with the best medication and the best therapy they are never able to maintain full-time employment. If you have an anxiety disorder which is so severe that you cannot work a full-time job, the condition will last for at least 12 continues months, and you have been insured for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits, you may qualify for SSDI. To evaluate your mental health condition the SSA will request your medical records from all of your treating doctors. Next, the SSA will compare your condition and related symptoms to their listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments. Although not all health conditions are listed in the SSA Listing, anxiety disorders can be found under 12.00 Medical Disorders, Section 12.06 Anxiety Related Disorders.
Meeting a Listing for Anxiety DisordersTo meet a listing in the SSA Listing of Impairments you must have generalized, persistent anxiety accompanied by three out of four of the following signs or symptoms:
- Motor tension; or
- Autonomic hyperactivity; or
- Apprehensive expectation; or
- Vigilance and scanning