Can my anxiety qualify me for disability benefits?

On Behalf of | Jul 7, 2023 | Social Security Disability

We all struggle with anxiety from time to time, and sometimes it can interfere with our daily activities and make us not perform at our best. If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, your symptoms may be at a point where it causes you problems with your job or career.

When you cannot work because of your anxiety, you could potentially qualify for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) considers anxiety a disability.

Types of anxiety disorders

There are various types of disability disorders the SSA recognizes, including agoraphobia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and panic disorders.

Generally, an anxiety disorder involves persistent feelings of terror, uneasiness or stress. It is more than just the nervousness or tension most of us experience sometimes. When you have an anxiety disorder, these feelings are so overwhelming that you fear normal, daily interactions in life.

To obtain SSD benefits for your anxiety, you must prove to the SSA that your anxiety is a disorder and not the result of other causes and that your disorder makes it impossible for you to work.

Diagnosing an anxiety disorder

When trying to diagnose an anxiety disorder, your doctor will try to rule out other causes first. There may be other causes for anxiety, such as an adverse reaction to medication or a temporary stressful situation, such as a divorce or job loss.

Once these other causes are ruled out, your doctor will determine how much your anxiety symptoms impact your ability to handle daily tasks, such as working. They will also examine the duration and severity of your symptoms. The longer you have had them and the more severe they are, the more likely it is you have an anxiety disorder.

Additionally, to receive benefits, you must show that your anxiety cannot be treated with medication or other techniques.

The importance of having evidence

Proving your case involves gathering evidence, which includes documentation such as records from your doctors or therapists or work history reports. You should also show that you are complying with any treatment recommendations.