You Can Obtain Social Security Benefits for an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety disorders, like social phobia, are the most common form of mental illness in the United States. At least 40 million adults suffer from one or more anxiety disorders. Like most mental illness, it can be difficult for people who don’t have to deal with anxiety on a daily basis to understand just how debilitating it can be.
Anxiety is a serious condition that can cause symptoms like a pounding heart, shortness of breath, muscle tension and insomnia. These symptoms can make it difficult for sufferers to handle routine tasks that don’t present any difficulty for non-sufferers.
Not surprisingly, anxiety often gets in the way of people holding a steady job. Maintaining regular attendance can be difficult as anxiety sufferers may have difficulty leaving their home and interacting with other people. If you suffer from an anxiety disorder and feel that it prevents you from sustaining full-time employment, you may be eligible for anxiety disability benefits.
Disability Benefits for Anxiety Disorder
Although Social Security benefits can help you maintain a normal quality of life despite the negative effects of anxiety, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to obtain these benefits. While they do have specific guidelines for some conditions, the SSA’s approach to evaluating disability for a mental illness including severe anxiety is to determine exactly how it impacts your ability to work. To make this determination, SSA will look at your ability to care for yourself and your personal needs, maintain concentration and focus, and interact with other people.
Applying for Disability Benefits for Anxiety Disorder?
If you’re applying for Social Security for anxiety, you will want to strengthen your claim so your chances of being denied are reduced. Unfortunately, many qualified patients with this condition are denied benefits.
You can reduce the risk of a denial by understanding the new 2017 Blue Book listings for anxiety disorders. This listing states an anxiety disorder diagnosis must show you have at least three of these symptoms:
- Difficulty with concentration
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbances
In addition, to get disability benefits, you must also prove you have significant limitations with at least some of these areas:
- Social interactions
- Ability to complete tasks
- The ability to learn, apply knowledge, understand or remember information to complete tasks
- Basic personal skills, such as shopping, dressing, taking care of hygiene, paying bills and other basic tasks
To qualify, you need a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and you must be able to prove you have had the disorder for at least a year. If you don’t meet the Blue Book listing requirements for anxiety disorder disability benefits qualification, you may need to prove you have functional limitations or have had severe anxiety for at least two years. If you have been in a structured living setting to get additional help or have received ongoing treatment, this can also help you establish the severity of your condition.
Since the Blue Book listings have changed recently, it can be especially important to speak to a disability benefits attorney. If you’re applying for disability benefits for an anxiety disorder or have already been denied, turn to the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco for a consultation.
Proving Eligibility for Anxiety Disorder Disability Benefits
Proving your eligibility to receive disability benefits for anxiety can require considerable medical evidence as well as documentation. To prove your eligibility, you will need to:
- Work with medical experts. Working with doctors and mental health professionals can establish a diagnosis of anxiety disorder and a specific diagnosis (such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobia or other conditions. Professionals can submit their evaluation of your condition and how it may cause impairment.
It is best to work with mental professionals such as psychologists or psychiatrists who have expertise in the area of social disorders. They will be able to provide a more detailed description of your condition and their medical diagnosis may carry more weight than that of a general practitioner. This is important, since there is no medical laboratory test for anxiety disorders.
- Keep careful records. If you are hospitalized, get treatment or need to miss work due to your condition, be sure to keep records. Have clear documentation of your medical treatments, medical appointments, medicine and symptoms. Having orderly records will let you submit more detailed information about your condition to the SSA, strengthening your claim.
- Complete all forms fully and in a timely manner. Submit your application with required documentation. Fill out all required questions to the best of your ability.
Whether you’re applying for benefits or have been denied, contact the law office of Lisa M. Ritacco if you need assistance.
Denial Doesn’t Have to Mean the End of Your Case
If you applied for disability for panic disorder or another anxiety condition because you’ve been unable to work and are in need of financial support, receiving a notification that your claim was denied can be scary. After receiving a denial it may seem like all hope is extinguished, but there is a silver lining–denials aren’t the end of the application process for Social Security disability benefits.
Because there are a wide range of reasons why a claim can be denied, it doesn’t have to be a decision that’s set in stone. As soon as you receive a denial for panic disorder disability benefits or a related condition, you can file an appeal.
Should You Enlist the Help of a Disability Attorney?
Statistics show that around 60% of appeals are approved. And of the people who file appeals, those who do so with the help of an attorney are more likely to receive benefits than those who attempt to do it on their own.
Contact Attorney Ritacco for Your Free Anxiety Disability Consultation
If you’ve already been denied social phobia disability benefits or Social Security support for another anxiety disorder, you only have sixty days to file an appeal. Since the clock is ticking, contact the Law Office of Lisa M. Ritacco, who will take the time to listen and talk to you, for a no-obligation initial consultation today.
For more information on Anxiety Disorder visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness.