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Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder A Disability

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What Are The Service Connections For Anxiety

Anxiety Disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder

The Department of Veterans Affairs utilizes a rating schedule to determine the severity of an anxiety disorder, like all other medical conditions.

However, receiving a VA disability rating for your condition is only half the battle toward earning monthly disability compensation.

Veterans can only receive VA disability benefits for anxiety disorders by establishing a service connection:

  • A current diagnosis of an anxiety disorder by a licensed VA clinic.
  • An in-service occurrence that caused or aggravated the anxiety disorder.
  • A medical nexus connecting the current, diagnosed anxiety disorder to the in-service occurrence.

In other words, you not only need an official medical diagnosis from a medical professional but also evidence that the anxiety disorder developed or worsened during your time in service.

It is not mandatory that service members have an official diagnosis of an anxiety disorder during service.

Rather, a veteran can get diagnosed with an anxiety disorder following service yet still receive disability as long as the current condition is connected to their time in service.

Nonetheless, a medical opinion is almost always needed to establish a medical nexus connection which is why meeting with VA medical professional is so important.

Qualifying For Disability With An Anxiety Disorder

Successfully becoming approved for either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance with just an anxiety disorder is rather challenging. This is because mental disorders are difficult to prove and can be controlled with medication or psychotherapy. Most individuals who receive disability benefits for an anxiety disorder also have other conditions such as clinical depression or bipolar disorder.

Chapter 12 of the Social Security Administrations Blue Book lists all of the requirements needed for an anxiety disorder to qualify for disability benefits. Section 12.06 Anxiety-related Disorders deals with all conditions in which anxiety is the predominant disturbance. An applicants anxiety disorder must satisfy the required levels of severity for either requirements A and B or requirements A and C.

Requirement A

Applicant needs medical documentation of at least one of the following:

1.) Persistent anxiety with 3 out of the 4 following symptoms:

  • Motor tension
  • Vigilance and scanning

2.) A persistent irrational fear of an object or situation that causes a strong desire to avoid the object or situation.

3.) Reoccurring severe panic attacks manifested by unpredictable feelings of anxiousness that occur on average at least once a week.

4.) Consistent obsessions or compulsions that cause marked distress.

5.) Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience that cause marked distress.

How To File A Va Claim For Anxiety

The claims process for receiving VA disability benefits takes some time yet is more than worthwhile.

Disability compensation can help cover medical appointments and treatment associated with an anxiety disorder.

Follow these steps to file a VA claim for an anxiety disorder:

Step 1: Schedule a medical examination with a medical professional at an approved VA clinic or hospital.

Step 2: The doctor will examine you and study your symptoms to reach a diagnosis. Be honest about your symptoms to get a realistic diagnosis.

Step 3: The VA relies on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders to assign a VA disability rating. There are 6 different ratings .

Step 4: Once you receive a VA disability rating you will understand the likelihood of receiving disability benefits. If your VA rating is higher , consider filing a claim. You will need to establish an in-service connection.

Step 5: You can establish a direct service connection or attempt to establish one through a secondary basis. Either way, you must prove the medical condition started or worsened as the result of an in-service event.

Step 6: Once a medical opinion/diagnosis and service connection is established you have grounds for filing a disability claim. Provide as many medical records and evidence as possible to prove a medical nexus connection.

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Treatments For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When treating this disorder, it is important to consult a psychiatrist, psychologist, or mental health professional as these professionals are well trained in treating this disorder. Treatment options include medication and therapy.

Medication can help to decrease the symptoms of anxiety, such as restlessness and muscle tension. Cognitive behavioural therapy refers to recognizing and changing your thoughts and behaviours which tend to cause you to feel anxious.

Some therapists help individuals cope with their anxiety by teaching their patients to think more realistically in order to control their worrying tendencies. Relaxation techniques such as meditation can also help relieve stress and clear the mind.

When Do Symptoms Of A Generalized Anxiety Disorder Develop

Anxiety disorders: background information about anxiety ...

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.

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How To Apply For Ssdi With Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Before receiving disability benefits, you must apply and qualify. Social Security Disability Insurance pays benefits to people who have a history of working and paying their FICA taxes in the U.S. If you do not have a work history, you may be able to use your spouses or your parents work record, or you can apply for a different disability program called SSI.

If you have sufficient work history, the SSA will process your application, which can take a few months. The application will ask questions about your disorder and your condition and may require your psychologist or psychiatrist to supply information as well. This information should be as full and detailed as possible. If the SSA needs additional information or wants you to undergo an examination to confirm your condition, they may reject your application until full information can be provided.

Working with a disability attorney is one of the ways to improve your chances of having your application accepted on the first submission and getting the benefits you need as soon as you can. Working with an attorney statistically improves your chances of having your application accepted on the first submission. Our attorneys have decades of experience working with disability applicants, and we can put that experience to work on your case by helping you ensure that your application is full and complete.

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.

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Disability Tax Credit For Anxiety Disorders And Other Support

There are a variety of treatment options available for suffers of anxiety. Many are prescribed by a psychiatrist, who can provide both therapy and medicinal treatment. Treatments can include:

  • Prescription antidepressants, SSRIs or other pharmaceuticals to help decrease or eliminate symptoms
  • Psychotherapy or Behaviour Therapy practices
  • Physical activity, including yoga or meditation exercises
  • Acupuncture

Alternative methods of treatment such as Yoga or acupuncture can be sought out individually, but medication and psychotherapy treatments must be done by a professional psychiatrist or psychologist. Treatments can complement each other and your doctor can discuss the best ones for you, and your physician can assist you with applications or certification for disability so that you can apply for the disability tax credit.

In addition to physician assistance, there is a variety of support groups available for anxiety disorder sufferers:

  • Psychiatry Referral Services, including ATAQ in Quebec, ADAQ in Ontario, ADAM in Manitoba and ADABC in British Columbia
  • The Canadian Network for Mood and Anxiety Treatments
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
  • Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada

How Does The Process Work

Generalized Anxiety Disorder | Mood Disorders

You receive a Ticket in the mail. You take this Ticket to any Employment Network or State Vocational Rehabilitation agency , and if you both agree to work together, the EN or VR will help you with job training, finding employers, information about work incentives, materials to send to prospective employers, and other tasks that will help you go to work. Participating in the Ticket to Work program means that youre protected from a Continuing Disability Review based on your potential ability to work.

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Answering Your Questions About Anxiety & Ssdi In Pennsylvania

Can you get disability for anxiety and panic attacks? Does social anxiety or depression count as a disability? Can you get Pennsylvania SSDI benefits for an anxiety disorder? These are good questions our lawyers answer below.

The first question to answer is this: do you have an anxiety disorder?

  • Do you tend to worry about events in your life even if others believe that there is no reason for you to worry?
  • Do daily activities make you anxious?
  • Are you stuck with the feeling that things will always go bad and will never improve for you?

These may be signs of a generalized anxiety disorder, and you may qualify for SSDI benefits as a result.

Checklist: Is My Mental Health Problem A Disability

You can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I have a mental or physical health impairment?
  • Is it long-term ?
  • Does it have a more than minor adverse effect on my day-to-day living, if I discount my treatment or medication?
  • If you answered yes to all three questions, then your mental health problem could get the protection of the Equality Act.

    If you want to get the protection of the Equality Act, you may find it helpful to get some evidence from your GP, or another medical professional. You can ask them to write a letter saying whether they think you have a disability under the Equality Act. It would be particularly useful if they can give their opinion on the answer to each of these three questions.


    Esra doesnt consider herself disabled because she doesnt receive disability benefits and she is physically healthy.

    Esra has been living with an anxiety disorder for the past 3 years. Because of this, it takes her a longer time to do things like get up in the morning, dress herself for the day and do the shopping. She takes medication to control the symptoms.

    Esra would be protected by the Equality Act because she has:

    • a mental impairment an anxiety disorder
    • it is long term she has had it for the past 3 years
    • it has a substantial effect on her daily life her mental health has a major effect on her daily life when you ignore the effect of her medication
    • it has an adverse effect her mental health problem makes things more difficult for her.

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    What Can I Do To Help Ensure A Higher Disability Rating For My Anxiety

    During your examination, work to avoid trivializing or exaggerating your symptoms. Remain straightforward, factual, and be sure to tell the truth. Avoid simple yes or no answers if at all possible. Continue to explain your answers with in-depth descriptions of your symptoms. Remember, no one knows your social and work deficiencies better than you do. To prepare for this you may want to take notes of your daily issues for as long as possible before your exam. For, while your medical records should contain some details, only you know what it is like to live with your illness day in and day out. Be sure to track your symptoms.

    Ideally, the more information you can provide, the better. Preparing a statement beforehand can be helpful with this. Specifically write down the details of your daily life living with anxiety. Include statements that explain your limitations. Be sure to include the frequency of your most severe symptoms. This gives the examiner more to add to your report.

    Before you go into your C& P exam, watch this video from a FORMER C& P EXAMINER! She reveals all the tips and tricks you could need with it!

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    Eligibility Criteria For Disability Tax Credit For Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized Anxiety Disorder would qualify under the disability section entitled mental functionsas it can impair your daily living. Mental functions required for everyday life include adaptive functioning, memory, problem solving, goal setting, and judgment.

    Please note that a restriction in problem solving, goal setting, or judgements that adaptive functioning would also qualify. This restriction can be either all of the time, or for most of the time.

    Patients who are considered as include being unable to leave the house due to anxiety either all the time or at least 90% of the time, despite medication or therapy. They may also require daily support and supervision due to difficulties coping with their anxiety.

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    Read Up On How Social Security Evaluates Disability Claims Based On Generalized Persistent Anxiety Phobias Panic Attacks Obsessive

    Social anxiety and other anxiety disorders can be socially limiting at best but at worst can be so disruptive to a person’s life that it becomes impossible to work. Anxiety disorders involving phobias, panic disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder , and generalized anxiety can qualify for Social Security disability benefits if they are well documented and severely debilitating. If you’ve been diagnosed with one of the above disorders and it affects your ability to leave the house, function socially, concentrate, or manage the tasks of daily living, you may be eligible for disability benefits.

    Some people claim they have anxiety, nervousness , or phobias, but their symptoms are unfortunately a part of modern, stressful life. To qualify for Social Security disability benefits for an anxiety disorder, you have to be able to show that your symptoms are chronic and that they meet one of several specific medical diagnoses related to anxiety and that they severely and negatively impact your ability to function in life. In order to suss out cases of anxiety disorders that are truly preventing someone from doing any kind of work, the SSA has developed a list of requirements that your anxiety disorder must fit into.

    Is Anxiety A Disability And Claim Ssdi Benefits

    Anxiety is when someone feels nervous, worried, or afraid. This is a natural reaction by the brain when some person feels threatened or unease. These phobias usually trigger your body and may cause various symptoms, such as a rise in heart rate. Feeling empty all day, having panic attacks, unable to perform tasks are some known characteristics of people with anxiety.

    Anxiety can highly disrupt/destruct a persons mental health as well as physical health. If you feel anxious often, it would be a great step to know more about the condition and take related measures to overcome it. While the source of the fear, nervousness, could be any reason that makes you uncomfortable, the problem is how the fear interferes with your life. You may face downs when socializing as well as doing your professional work due to anxiety.

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    Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders

    It is natural to experience occasional anxiety or worry.

    However, when negative emotions begin to interfere with daily activities like work and family , you should consult a medical professional.

    Victims of severe anxiety and panic disorders often feel like they have no escape from their suffering.

    In many examples, the victim may avoid certain places or situations to prevent these negative feelings from arising.

    Whenever these feelings are difficult to control, out of proportion to the actual danger, or frequently occur its time to seek help.

    Thankfully, there is a wide range of treatment options for patients that suffer from anxiety disorders.

    The symptoms of severe anxiety may begin during childhood or teenage years.

    Veterans often cite their time during service as the time in their life when anxiety levels became unmanageable.

    The following symptoms are common:

    • Feeling nervous, tense, or restless
    • Increased heart rate
    • Gastrointestinal problems
    • Difficult controlling amount of worry

    Those that suffer from anxiety disorders often have the urge to avoid certain situations that may trigger negative feelings.

    Service Connection For Anxiety Disorder

    Generalized Anxiety Disorders

    If you have one of the above anxiety disorders, its important to prove service connection to be eligible for disability benefits. To do so, you will need a current diagnosis from a healthcare provider, an in-service connection that caused your anxiety disorder, and a medical nexus from a healthcare provider that connects your condition to the in-service incident. This medical evidence will be imperative in your veterans disability claim.

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