Anxiety disorders can be incredibly disruptive to your life. In fact, anxiety is one of the most prevalent causes of disability for adults in the United States. Once an anxiety disorder becomes disruptive to the point that you can no longer work and are severely debilitated, you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
When does an anxiety disorder qualify for disability benefits?
As with all conditions, there are qualifying characteristics that you must exhibit for your anxiety to be considered disabling. Your anxiety must affect your ability to socially function, concentrate, leave the house, or manage daily life tasks.
Additionally, your anxiety symptoms must go beyond average stress and nerves. You must be able to prove that your anxiety symptoms:
- Are chronic, lasting for at least 12 months.
- Fall under one of several specific medical anxiety diagnoses.
- Negatively and seriously impact your ability to function.
The most prominent characteristic of your anxiety when it comes to qualifying for disability benefits is the impact your anxiety disorder has on your life. An anxiety disorder must have a marked effect on your life to be considered disabling, making you eligible for disability benefits.
How to prove your anxiety qualifies for disability benefits
When you look towards starting the process of obtaining disability benefits, you should be prepared to show your treatment history. If you haven’t been seen by a mental health professional for your anxiety, it’s important to do so before seeking disability benefits. Your primary care doctor can refer you to a psychologist or psychiatrist that can support you with the appropriate diagnoses and medical records.
Typically, there are two ways you can prove that you qualify for disability benefits. The first is to use your medical records, letters, testimony, and doctor reports to show you experience a severe, disabling impact on your life from your anxiety disorder. You would also want to show that it prevents you from working a full-time job and that you met the other qualifying characteristics we discussed above.
The second way that you can go about proving qualified disability is to use Social Security’s criteria. Social Security has developed “listings” for each potentially disabling medical condition. Each of these “listings” contains criteria that must be met for a condition to be automatically considered disabling. If your anxiety disorder meets the criteria laid out in the listing, then it will be considered a disabling condition.
How to file a disability claim
The easiest way to file for disability benefits is to complete an online application. If you don’t have access or feel comfortable doing so, you can also complete the application by phone.
When you’re ready to apply, have the following information handy:
- Your basic information (address, social security number, name, etc.)
- Work and education history
- Your medical diagnoses
- A list of your medications and doctors
- The date you could no longer work due to your impairments
You’re not alone
While the process may seem overwhelming, you don’t need to go through it alone. We provide disability benefits assistance and can help you through the process. We’ll provide you with the resources and support to make applying for Social Security disability benefits easier and help you get the benefits you deserve for your anxiety disorder.