Filing For Social Security Disability With An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis
The Social Security Administration considers anxiety disorders under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book, which covers Mental Disorders.
It can be difficult to claim Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits on the basis of an anxiety disorder diagnosis because the medical evidence supporting the diagnosis is highly subjective and is based on hard-to-document criteria, such as feelings and behavior that occurs outside the doctors office and is reported to the doctor by the patient.
In order to successfully apply for disability benefits due to an anxiety disorder, be sure to present a history of treatment by medical professionals, including both your physician and a qualified mental health professional, in order to show the recurrent or persistent nature of your anxiety disorder.
The SSAs definition of disability is any medically determinable mental or medical impairment that has prevented an individual from performing substantial work for twelve months, is expected to prevent an individual from working for twelve continuous months, or is expected to end with death. Be sure that your medical documentation can thoroughly and specifically demonstrates to the SSA how your disability interferes with your ability to function on a daily basis.
If you apply for disability benefits under Anxiety-Related Disorders, you must meet the conditions of either Paragraphs A and B below, OR the conditions of Paragraphs A and C below.
Disability Caused By Anxiety Disorder
First, let’s look at how the SSA evaluates the severity of anxiety disorders. Before it pays benefits, the SSA requires a mental disorder to be so severe that it disrupts your life to a point where you become unable to work at any type of job . In addition to fitting within a specific diagnosis below , your anxiety disorder must cause severe limitations in the following areas:
- understanding and remembering instructions and learning new things
- interacting with others appropriately
- concentrating and persisting to complete tasks, and/or
- managing oneself
Alternatively, you might be able to qualify without having symptoms of the above limitations if your anxiety has improved with medication or psychosocial support, but your recovery is tenuous and you could experience a setback if you go back to work. To qualify under this alternative, your anxiety must be medically documented as having lasted at least two years, and you must have minimal capacity to adjust to changes in your environment or an increase in mental demands.
An Attorney Can Help You Through The Process
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.
Recommended Reading: Va Form 21 4140 1
What Are Anxiety Disorders
Types of anxiety disorders include:
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, anxiety disorders share features of irrational and excessive fear, apprehensive and tense feelings and difficulty managing daily tasks and/or distress related to these tasks.
The cognitive, behavioural and physical symptoms of anxiety disorders include:
- anxious thoughts
- avoidance of activities that bring on sensations similar to those experienced when anxious
- subtle avoidance
- excessive physical reactions to the stressor
The physical symptoms of anxiety may be mistaken for symptoms of a physical illness such as a heart attack.
Univariate Gee For Depression And Anxiety Outcomes
Accounting for the longitudinal analysis using univariate GEE models , the variables that were significantly associated with depression included older age , being female , having a hearing impairment , having a greater number of chronic health conditions , and reporting 3 or more stressful life events . The factors associated with less depression included IDD-related conditions , and informant-rated health , and four or more Special Olympics events . While obesity and number of stressful life eventsâchange did not achieve statistical significance, they were included in the multivariate analysis because other studies have shown they are potential factors.
You May Like: How Much Ssi Will I Get In California
How Can I Help My Child Live With An Adjustment Disorder
You can do these things to help your child:
Keep all appointments with your childs healthcare provider.
Talk with your childs healthcare provider about other providers who will be included in your childs care. Your child may get care from a team that may include counselors, therapists, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Your childs care team will depend on your childs needs and how serious the adjustment disorder is.
Work closely with school staff. Your childâs adjustment disorder may significantly interfere with his or her ability to learn. If this is the case, the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Civil Rights Act may allow the school to offer reasonable accommodations in the school setting.
Tell others about your childs adjustment disorder. Work with your childs healthcare provider and school to create a treatment plan.
Reach out for support from local community services. Being in touch with other parents who have a child with an adjustment disorder may be helpful.
For more than 50 years, clinicians have been using the term adjustment disorder to describe individuals who are struggling to deal with a particular stressful situation or ongoing circumstance that causes distress.
Adjustment disorders are the most common diagnosed mental health issues and they may be diagnosed in children, adolescents, and adults. Most studies report about 1% of the population may have an adjustment disorder at any given time.
Getting Disability Benefits For Mental Health Issues
The Social Security Administration acknowledges the impact that anxiety and depression disorders can have on a persons ability to make a living and get by in society. Both of these families of conditions are considered qualifying medical disorders for establishing eligibility for disability payments.
The process of applying for disability with anxiety or depression is the same as it is for physical disabilities. In order to get benefits, you must submit an application with the Social Security office in your local area. Be prepared to submit documentation of your condition from a doctor or psychiatrist who has treated you. Ask relatives, friends and people who know you whether they can write brief statements about how your mental health and ability to function have been affected by the anxiety or depression. These statements are not definitive, but they can help paint a whole picture for the disability eligibility reviewers.
Also Check: Military Reserve Retirement Pay Calculator
% Va Rating For Depression And Anxiety
The 0 percent rating is reserved for a very mild presentation of psychopathology. If VA awards a 0 percent rating for depression or anxiety, it has determined that the veteran has a qualifying diagnosis, but the symptoms do not result in functional impairment or require medication. Importantly, a 0 percent disability rating is non-compensable, meaning the veteran will not receive monthly payments for that condition.
Getting Your Doctor’s Support
Make sure that you have your treating physician prepare a mental residual functional capacity form on your behalf. A mental RFC is a detailed report that discusses how your anxiety and depression affect your pain thresholds and your ability to do certain job functions. Your attorney will use the mental RFC to create hypothetical questions designed to counter the VE’s testimony.
Although any doctor can prepare a mental RFC for you, the SSA will give more weight to a doctor who specializes in treating mental illness. Therefore, you should make sure to seek the help of a psychiatrist or psychologist in the treatment of your anxiety or depression.
Recommended Reading: De 2525xx Form California
Evidence To Support Your Va Claim
Medical evidence is critical in claims for mental health conditions. Submitting private medical records or medical records from VA facilities is one way for veterans to demonstrate the frequency, duration, and severity of their condition, and how such symptomatology affects their daily functioning. In addition, veterans may submit lay evidence on their own behalf, or from friends and family members. Lay statements serve to outline in detail the onset and progression of the veterans condition. Individuals close to the veteran who can attest to how the veterans condition affects their daily life should consider drafting a lay statement for submission. Overall, having a statement that provides a clear, accurate picture of the veterans symptomatology and how it impairs their day to day life can be extremely helpful.
Anxiety And Depression Can Cause Non
If you apply for disability for a physical condition that limits your strength or ability to walk, the SSA will decide what level of work you can do, as in heavy, medium, light, or sedentary work. If you have a moderate physical disability that limits your ability to lift heavy items, you might be restricted to medium or light work, but that’s no guarantee of disabilty benefits.
But when considering whether you are actually able to work, the SSA must also evaluate any non-exertional impairments you have. Non-exertional impairments are those that relate to non-strength related work activities such as the ability to focus, concentrate, get along with others, and be reliable. Many people with moderate anxiety and depression experience these kinds of non-exertional impairments. For more information, see our article on how non-exertional impairments can help you win your claim.
Just because your mental health issues aren’t considered severe doesn’t mean that they can’t affect your ability to do a wide range of jobs. Having non-severe mental health issues other than anxiety or depression can also increase the chances of winning a disability claim, when added to a physical impairment. For more information, see our article on when combining severe and non-severe impairments leads to disability benefits.
Read Also: What Can You Earn While On Social Security
What Are Depressive Disorders
Types of depressive disorders include:
- Major depressive disorder
- Depression with psychosis
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Postpartum depression
According to theCentre for Addiction and Mental Health, the predominant symptom of major depression is identified as a sad, despairing mood that is present most days, lasts more than 2 weeks and impairs a person’s performance at work, school or in social relationships.
Symptoms of depression include:
- restricted emotions and facial expressions
- reduced socialization and motivation
Physical Signs Of Anxiety
The physical state of anxiety can be conceptualized overall as that of heightened arousal. Specific characteristics include:
- Difficulty concentrating due to state of agitation or racing thoughts
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep due to racing thoughts or other physical symptoms
Depression is primarily characterized by changes in usual physical processes from baseline, such as:
- Difficulty with concentration, focus, and memory due to ruminative thought processes or other physical symptoms
- Lack of energy
- Loss of appetite or a significant increase in appetite
- Moving or talking more slowly than usual
- Physical achiness without cause
- Sleeping much more or much less than is typical due to ruminative thought processes or low energy
Also Check: Va Rating Sciatica
Depression And Suicide: Getting Help In A Crisis
Some people who are depressed may think about hurting themselves or committing suicide . If you or someone you know is having thoughts about hurting themselves or committing suicide please seek immediate help. The following resources can help:
- Call to reach a 24hour crisis center or dial 911. is the National Suicide Prevention Lifelineexternal icon, which provides free confidential help to people in crisis. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrationexternal icon runs this lifeline.
- Get help from your primary doctor or other health care provider.
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
- Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
Textbox module not selected or not found.
When Do Symptoms Of A Generalized Anxiety Disorder Develop
Generalized anxiety disorders do not always develop in adulthood. The symptoms can start when you’re a child, during teen years, or even in young adulthood. It may take a significant amount of time for a doctor or mental health professional to properly diagnose a generalized anxiety disorder. At times, medical providers may be more focused on the individual symptoms related to the generalized anxiety disorder, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, stomach upset or headaches – but they don’t always make the connection to a generalized anxiety disorder and the initial diagnosis might be delayed.
Medical professionals are not sure what causes a person to suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder. In some cases, other family members may suffer from the same type of anxiety disorder. In other cases, it may be an individual diagnosis.
Recommended Reading: Military Disability For Sleep Apnea
Debates About Ajd Definition In Icd And Dsm
The ICD-10 and DSM-IV/DSM-5 AjD definitions attracted considerable criticism. Several authors pointed out that the definition itself is rather loose. This resulted in misuse of the diagnosis in clinical practice. Mental health professionals meet patients with AjD often, but it is difficult to use this diagnosis in a clinical practice. For example, the analysis of 2,155 psychologists from 23 countries showed that about 40% of them had a patient with ICD-10 or DSM-IV AjD diagnosis at least once per week, but they also indicated that ICD-10 AjD had low ease of use.
Because of the diagnostic challenges, findings about AjD prevalence are inconsistent across various studies. AjD was neglected in major epidemiological studies and AjD research was criticized for poor methodological design. Furthermore, the existing AjD diagnosis definitions raised constant debates about underdiagnosing AjD and pathologization of normal stress reactions. It was also proposed that health care professionals tend to use AjD diagnosis as a residual category, when the symptom profile does not match any other diagnosis.
Chronic Pain And Anxiety
Although the link between pain and depression is well-documented, researchers say anxiety also has significant connections to chronic pain and pain disorders. Last year, researchers who evaluated patients at a Midwestern veterans medical center concluded that patients who have chronic pain should also be evaluated for anxiety disorders.
The study found that 45 percent of patients being treated for pain also tested positive for one or more anxiety disorders. Pain patients with an anxiety disorder generally had more pain and poorer quality of life.
Also Check: Disability California Amount
An Overview Of Depression
Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Major depressive disorder is a disabling condition that adversely affects a persons family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. In the United States, around 3.4% of people with major depression commit suicide, and up to 60% of people who commit suicide had depression or another mood disorder.
The diagnosis of major depressive disorder is based on the patients self-reported experiences, behavior reported by relatives or friends, and a mental status examination. There is no laboratory test for major depression, although physicians generally request tests for physical conditions that may cause similar symptoms. The most common period of onset is between the ages of 20 and 30 years, with a smaller secondary peak between 30 and 40 years.
How To Apply For Disability Benefits For Depression
Applying for benefits begins with filling out the Social Security Disability Application. You can do this over the phone, online, or by walking into your nearest Social Security Office. You will need your Social Security number and proof of your age , along with the names and contact information for any medical professionals that were involved in your treatment or diagnosis. You will also need names and dosages of your medications, medical records, lab results , a summary of where you worked and what was involved in your job, and the most recent W-2 or Federal Tax Return .
The review process can take a while. In many cases, it will take anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Thankfully there is Social Security Disability Back Pay that will be dated to the time of your application. Even so, you will most likely want to line up other resources while you wait for your SSDI Award Letter to arrive.
One of the first things the SSA will do is determine whether or not you are working at a substantial gainful activity level. The SGA level is a threshold to determine if you need financial assistance in the form of SSDI. As of 2020, substantial gainful activity is deemed to be earnings over $1,260, either as wages or as net profit if you are self-employed. If you are legally blind, that threshold is raised to $2,110. You are allowed to deduct Impairment-Related Work Expenses such as medical treatment from your wages or net profit.
Read Also: 90 Va Disability And Working
Please Answer A Few Questions To Help Us Determine Your Eligibility
People living with chronic physical conditions frequently suffer from depression or anxiety in addition to their physical impairment. Ongoing illnesses, particularly those that cause pain, affect brain chemistry and sleep and cause mood fluctuations, all of which can lead to varying degrees of depression and anxiety. Even if your depression or anxiety is not severe enough to win claim for disability on its own, it can, when considered along with a severe physical impairment, play an important role in winning your claim for disability.
Chronic Pain And Depression
The relationship between depression and chronic pain and illness is well-documented. According to the American Chiropractic Association, between 30 and 80 percent of people with chronic pain also have depression, and the combination of illnesses can result in greater disability than either condition would cause on its own.
People with chronic pain live with changes to their body, mental state and social circles. Pain can keep them from sleeping and make it hard to concentrate or hold down a job. These changes can create a cycle of pain that leads to depression, which can lead to more chronic pain.
Also Check: Gaf Scale Dsm 5