Depression and anxiety can make daily activities feel impossible — including work. Unlike physical health issues, anxiety is harder to prove, despite how common it is. In fact, mental disorders like anxiety are the #2 reason people file disability claims today. (The #1 reason is musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain.) However, you may still get disability for anxiety if your symptoms force you to stop working.
Physical Symptoms That Help Support Your Disability for Anxiety Claim
Anxiety causes many different symptoms, from chronic worry to outright panic attacks and physical agitation. And while it’s listed as a mental disorder, anxiety can often cause physical symptoms, including:
- Shaking/muscle tremors
- Increased heart rate/palpitations
- Chest pains
Some symptoms may get much worse in social situations or when you’re at work.
Anxiety symptoms can also come on suddenly and without warning. Without proper medical treatment, it may interfere with your ability to concentrate and complete routine job duties. Work tasks that used to feel normal instead become paralyzing for anxiety sufferers. In fact, some people have such severe anxiety that just leaving the house triggers a panic attack.
There are several different kinds of anxiety disorders, and they’re all debilitating to sufferers. The most common anxiety types include:
- General anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Social anxiety
- Specific phobias (i.e., agoraphobia)
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
How to Prove Your Disability for Anxiety Claim Is Valid
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has guidelines for proving your anxiety is severe enough to qualify for disability benefits. So what proof do you need to get disability for anxiety?
The SSA looks for specific symptoms and limitations to determine whether you have a valid disability for anxiety claim. To do this, you must meet the requirements in #1 and #2 listed below. (If you can’t meet #2, then you must meet #3 to have a valid disability for anxiety claim.)
- First, you must experience three or more symptoms listed below:
- Always feel restless
- Get tired easily
- Trouble concentrating
- Tense muscles
- Sleep problems/insomnia
- Next, your mental functioning must be extremely limited in one area (or markedly limited in two areas) below:
- Understanding, remembering, or applying information
- Interacting with others
- Concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace
- Adapting or managing your behaviors
- Your doctor categorizes your anxiety as “serious and persistent.” This means you have a documented history of routine medical treatments for at least two years. To prove you meet #3, you must see a doctor (preferably a psychologist) regularly. And if you take any prescriptions to help manage your anxiety, that’s even better.
You May Qualify for Legal Assistance
While getting disability for anxiety isn’t easy, it is possible. If you find the claims process confusing or stressful, talk to a lawyer. An attorney knows exactly what needs to go into your disability for anxiety claim. Getting professional legal help means you won’t make any mistakes on your claim paperwork. In fact, basic errors on forms gets 2 out of every 5 applicants denied automatically today!
What’s more, all Social Security attorneys work on contingency. That means you’ll pay nothing unless that lawyer helps you win benefits. And if you do win, then you’ll only pay a small, one-time fee.
Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free benefits evaluation today:
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Mandy Voisin is a freelance writer, blogger, and author of Girls of the Ocean and Star of Deliverance. As an accomplished content marketing consultant, mom of four and doctor's wife, Mandy has written hundreds of articles about dangerous drugs and medical devices, medical issues that impact disabled Americans, veterans' healthcare and workers' compensation issues since 2016.