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Social Security disability benefits for anxiety disorders

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress, however it can also be a debilitating mental disorder that interferes with one's ability to work. In that case, filing for disability may be a good option.

There are many types of anxiety disorders and collectively they comprise one of the most common mental illnesses in the United States. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, millions of people are affected by anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorder - along with panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder - is a qualifying mental condition for social security disability benefits. Evidence of a qualifying anxiety disorder is satisfied by providing adequate medical documentation for one of the two requirements provided by the Social Security Administration.

One of the requirements consists of meeting individual criteria as outlined in Section 12.06 of the Blue Book. The second requirement can be met by proving extreme limitation of one, or marked limitation of two, of the following: the ability to understand, remember or apply information, interact with others, concentrate, persist or maintain peace and adapt or manage oneself.

If an applicant cannot satisfy either of these requirements, they may still qualify for social security disability benefits if the anxiety disorder is serious and persistent. This can be proven by showing medical documentation of structured, ongoing treatment that diminishes signs and symptoms of the disorder and minimal capacity to adapt to new changes or demands.

Applying for social security disability benefits for mental conditions can be complicated and time-consuming. In addition to providing the requisite medical documentation, it will be necessary to provide more paperwork and other factors will need to be taken into account. Understanding the procedure and requirements can alleviate some of the stress and help the process go more efficiently.

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