Thursday, September 21, 2023

Does Anxiety Count As A Disability

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Anxiety Disorders That May Qualify

Anxiety, Depression and Social Security Disability. A Lawyer’s Advice.

It’s possible to get disability benefits for mental health conditions, but getting the proper diagnosis is a crucial first step. Your doctor will have to submit medical evidence of your diagnosis, consisting of psychological tests and documentation of symptoms. Here are five ways anxiety disorders can qualify you for disability benefits:

  • generalized persistent anxiety

sleep disturbance.


A phobia is a persistent extreme or irrational fear of a situation, activity, or place, such as the fear of driving over bridges , the fear of heights , or the fear of leaving the house . A phobia causes a compelling need to avoid the feared situation or activity. Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, an intense feeling of fear about and avoidance of interacting with others, can fall into this subcategory. To rise to the level of disability, the SSA requires that you have a disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations .

Panic Attacks

Panic attacks are characterized by sudden periods of intense fear along with physical symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, and shaking. Many people have experienced mild anxiety attacks in their life but take medication or therapy to manage them, but to rise to the level of disability, the SSA requires that you have severe panic attacks followed by a persistent concern or worry about having additional panic attacks in the future, or a fear of their consequences.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Is It Hard To Get Ssi For Depression

Like other conditions with symptoms that are based on emotional distress, a disability based on depression can be difficult to prove to the Social Security Administration because the symptoms are often difficult to measure. Additionally, just being diagnosed with depression is not enough to qualify for benefits.

Consider A Neuropsychological Evaluation

In addition to a personal narrative and supportive reports from your treating doctor, you may consider undergoing a Neuropsychological Evaluation. A neuropsychological evaluation will measure your cognitive deficits.

Neuropsychological testing objectively and scientifically measures how your disability is impacting your cognitive functioning. This includes memory, learning perception, problem solving, speed processing, verbal functioning, and executive functioning, among other things. The evaluation usually also includes IQ testing and screening for any primary or secondary psychological diagnoses. It also will include validity testing to demonstrate the reliability of the test results.

Many conclusions can be drawn from a valid neuropsychological evaluation, including your primary diagnosis, secondary diagnosis , and your deficits in specific areas of cognitive functioning. The results provide the insurance company with strong and objective evidence to demonstrate how and why your anxiety disorder impacts your ability to work.

Your narrative, doctors support, and additional neuropsychological testing will all go a long way in helping to prove your anxiety disorder long term disability claim.

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Evaluating Anxiety As A Disability

If an employee comes to you and says they have a disability and asks for an accommodation, one of your first responses should be to ask them to fill out a medical information form. This form will require that they visit their physician and have them complete the necessary information.

In addition to Federal laws, many states have laws that regulate the medical information that an employee is required to give their employer. Make sure that your paperwork is compliant with all laws, and double-check with your attorney.

If the doctor has determined that the employee has a disability, they may list areas where the worker could benefit from accommodations. These suggestions may be aimed at the employee to consider.

Causes Of Depression Or Anxiety

Does Anxiety Count as a Disability

Although it is not clear, family genes or other biological reasons may cause or influence the emergence of depression. It is not uncommon to see these conditions shared by members of the same family. Depression may also be brought on by changes in ones life such as divorce, death, or a job change, however, such periods of depression normally resolve themselves within a relatively short period of time. However, if such a severe mood lasts every day for two-weeks or longer, then depression may require treatment to be resolved.

If your depression has been persisting, it is important to seek treatment early, both for treatment and to document its existence and severity should you have difficulty recovering and have to file a disability claim.

Anxiety may come on for no apparent reason or may also be familial. If left untreated, anxiety can worsen to the point that it interferes with the ability to concentrate and complete tasks needed for normal work activities. Some individuals anxiety reaches the point that they may refuse to leave their homes for fear of triggering an episode of panic.

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Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Or Severe Anxiety A Disability

Legally speaking, yes some forms of generalized anxiety disorder can be considered a disability. The law that governs Social Security benefits defines a disability as the “inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.” In other words, a disability includes mental impairments that make you unable to do your job or find enough employment to support yourself. The impairment must be long-term or potentially fatal.

Generalized anxiety disorder and other forms of severe anxiety are often long-term, can be diagnosed by a doctor, and can limit someone from engaging in substantial gainful activity. As long as your condition meets those requirements, it will considered a disability according to Social Security law.

Does An Anxiety Disorder Qualify Me For Social Security Disability Benefits

Many people suffer from some of the symptoms related to an anxiety disorder. However, most people’sreal question is simple: can you get disability for anxiety and panic attacks? The straightforward answer is yes, but only under certain conditions.

If you experience symptoms that are so severe that your ability to care for yourself or your ability to function at work is severely affected, you may qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits or Supplemental Security Income benefits.To be eligible for SSDI benefits or SSI benefits, you must be able to present medical evidence that demonstrates you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, that your anxiety disorder issevere and, as a result of your anxiety disorder, you have been unable to work for at least 12 months or your symptoms are so severe that it is likely that you will not be able to return to work for at least 12 months.

To help the Social Security Administration understand the severity of your Anxiety Disorder, you should secure your treatment records, the results of any psychological and or cognitive testing, a complete list of your medications, and any treatment notes that discuss the severity of your symptoms and how long those symptoms have lasted.

Fact:The Social Security Administration considers anxiety disorders under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book, which covers Mental Disorders.

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Who Suffers From Generalized Anxiety Disorders

While we all worry about the health of their loved ones, how we will pay our bills or other daily problems in our lives, some people who suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder worry excessively about these problems. Individuals suffering from generalized anxiety disorder may become extremely worried about their daily problems, even when others believe that there is little or no reason for them to worry.

Individuals suffering from a generalized anxiety disorder may become so worried and anxious about their daily responsibilities and activities that they become overwhelmed and struggle to get through the day. Sometimes, the worry about daily responsibilities and activities may convince them that their problems will never improve and never get better.

An Attorney Can Help You Through The Process

Depression & Anxiety Disability Insurance Claim Help & Tips

Anxiety and depression can make even the smallest task feel insurmountable. If you or a loved one is suffering from mental health conditions that prevent you from working, contact a social security disability attorney at Hawks Quindel for help completing an application, filing an appeal, or making your best case at a hearing. We work on a contingent basis, meaning you do not pay us unless we help you win financial benefits.

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What Is A Disability

Disability, according to Merriam-Webster, is an impairment that prevents someone from engaging in gainful employment. Using this definition, we can concur that for a person to be considered as disabled, their disorder must make it hard if not impossible for them to get a good job.

The government, however, defines disability as being unable to participate in any substantial gainful activity due to any medically determinable physical or mental impairment. Furthermore, the impairment must have a high chance of leading to death or last or can be expected to last for a continuous period of more than one year.

Medically determinable impairment means that acceptable clinical and medical diagnostic techniques can show the existence of such impairment. A doctor must also provide evidence that a person has a disorder that can be considered a disability.

Your Anxiety Disorder Disability Case

If you are disabled because of an Anxiety Disorder that prevents you from working, you may well be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Although total disability based on an Anxiety Disorder can be difficult to prove due to the subjective nature of diagnosis, working closely with medical professionals and a qualified Social Security disability attorney or advocate to collect and present the appropriate documentation to support your disability claim can help to ensure that you present the strongest possible disability case.

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Trauma And Stress Disorders

These disorders may have similar results to obsessive-compulsive disorders and neurological disorders, but they are often caused by some significantly traumatic event or because of extreme stress. Post-traumatic stress disorder is the most common of these disorders. Often, after witnessing or being involved in a very traumatic event, people suffering from these disorders find themselves facing symptoms that include depression, flashbacks, lack of interest or enjoyment, constant distress, aggression, overreactions, fear, anger, and trouble sleeping.

These disorders can often place a huge toll on a persons day-to-day life, and may make daily tasks and work tasks nearly impossible. Often, people with a history of military service or victims of traumatic accidents or crime face these kinds of disorders. If their case is severe enough, qualifying for SSD may help support them.

Types Of Ptsd Disability Benefits

2.1 Anxiety

The United States government operates two main disability programs:

  • Supplementary Security Income program
  • Social Security Disability Insurance .

Social Security provides financial assistance to people with little or no income, including people living with any mental illness, PTSD included. Having PTSD alone doesnt qualify someone for social security, even if they cant work. To receive SSI disability benefits for PTSD, someone must live below the poverty line and have minimal access to financial resources.

SSDI is the other federal organization that provides financial benefits. The difference between SSDI and social security is the income level and location above or below the poverty line. PTSD can qualify as a disability regardless of whether or not someone is living in poverty. People automatically earn SSDI by working long enough and paying Social Security taxes through their employment. Meeting these criteria as well as necessary PTSD disability criteria qualifies someone for disability benefits for PTSD.

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Those Diagnosed With Severe Anxiety Disorder Ptsd Or Ocd May Be Able To Get Disability Benefits

By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney

While many individuals claim they are affected by anxiety or stress, an anxiety disorder is a mental condition in which extreme feelings of worry and fear control everyday actions. Only when you experience severe symptoms of anxiety that affect your ability to function at work and at home can you be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration . Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include an inability to concentrate, avoidance of certain situations, fear of crowds, or feelings of panic. Many people experience an abnormal level of worry and concern, sweating, feeling faint, dry mouth, muscle tension, and hypervigilance.

To be considered for disability benefits due to an anxiety disorder, Social Security requires medical evidence that you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and that as a result of this condition you have been unable to work for at least 12 months. Based on your current income and work history, you may apply for Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

When Is Depression A Disability

As most, if not all, employers will know, employees with disabilities are protected in law in terms of their employment. This has been the case since the introduction of the Disability Discrimination 1995 which has since been replaced by the Equality Act 2010 . As a result, employers cannot treat a disabled employee less favourably because of their disability or for a reason relating to their disability. In addition, employers are under a duty to implement what is commonly known as reasonable adjustments to the workplace and/or to the role being undertaken, if the disability in question places the employee at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to their non-disabled colleagues.

Of course, in order to comply with their legal obligations, employers must have an awareness of their employees disability. Whilst it might be easy to identify disabled employees if they have a physical impairment such as blindness or a condition which prevents the employee from walking, this task becomes more difficult in circumstances where an employee is suffering from a mental impairment such as depression.

Under the former regime of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, an impairment was said to affect the ability of the person to carry out normal day-to-day activities only if it affected one of the following:

  • mobility
  • memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand
  • perception of the risk of physical danger.

The 2010 Guidance provides the following example:-

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Specific Medical Evidence Needed For An Anxiety Disorder

Your doctor or psychologist may have diagnosed you with a general anxiety disorder, a post-traumatic stress disorder , an obsessive-compulsive disorder , a panic disorder , or agoraphobia . The SSA will want to see evidence of any psychological testing or evaluations diagnosing you with anxiety, and any treatment notes by your doctor showing that you have been consistently reporting symptoms of anxiety.

Most importantly, you will need to explain what happens as a result of your anxiety. For instance, if you are at work and you have a panic attack, what do you do? Will you leave the job site? Do you lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour? Or, will you suffer in silence but become unable to complete your work tasks that day due to difficulty with memory and concentration? You should try to obtain a medical opinion from your treating doctor regarding your level of anxiety , what triggers your anxiety, and the effect of your anxiety disorder on your ability to work. If possible, you could also try to get a statement from your past employer regarding any work absences due to anxiety symptoms.

For Social Security Disability Insurance Beneficiaries

VA Disability for Anxiety | Everything You Need to Know!

If you receive SSD benefits, you have a trial work period of nine months that allows you to test your ability to work without risking your benefits. Be sure to check how many months you have left of your trial work period before you begin. A month only counts if you earn over $720. After the trial work period ends, you will not receive benefits in months where you earn over $1000. For three years after the end of your trial work period, you can begin receiving benefits again if you stop earning $1000/month and you?re still disabled this is called Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits, or EXR.

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Write A Personal Narrative

Explaining to your insurance company how your individual symptoms prevent you from performing your job duties can be extremely helpful. You can do this by preparing a detailed, written narrative for the insurance company. In many cases, it is helpful if the narrative addresses all your symptoms by listing them separately first. Because most symptoms of anxiety disorders are subjective in nature, your narrative can also address the severity of your symptoms, as well as factors that trigger or exacerbate your symptoms.

How Edgar Snyder & Associates Can Help

If you’re unable to work due to your anxiety, chances are you’re frustrated and dealing with financial struggles. You need the help of experts who know the system and have a high track record of winning SSD claim appeals. Here’s what our attorneys and legal staff do to help you:

  • Gather medical records and reports
  • Gather evidence for your claim
  • Gather documents from your Social Security file
  • Talk with your doctor about your condition and how affects your ability to work
  • Provide advice to you to help you prepare for your Social Security hearing
  • And more

Best of all, there’s never a fee unless we get money for you. If we don’t win your appeal, all the time and effort we put into your case costs you nothing.

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Social Securitys Alternative Listing For Depression

Social Security provides another way to meet the listing for depression for those who cant show they currently have the functional limitations above because theyve been living in a highly structured or protected situation or undergoing intense therapy.

If you are in this situation, you may be able to meet a second set of functional criteria. You can do this if your disorder has been medically documented as serious and persistent over a period of at least two years and you have either been living in a highly structured setting or youve been receiving ongoing medical treatment, mental health therapy, or psychosocial support that diminishes the symptoms of your mental disorder. You must also show that you have little ability to adapt to demands that are not already part of your daily life or to changes in your environment.

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