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Does anxiety qualify for Social Security Disability benefits?

The truth is there is rarely a claimant who attends a Social Security Disability hearing that does not suffer some degree of anxiety. People only file for Social Security Disability benefits when they are no longer able to work and worrying about how they will be able to pay for their living expenses. However, there are some types of severe anxiety that go beyond these concerns and worries and become medical conditions of their own.

Severe, documented anxiety disorders can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits. To convince the Social Security Administration, the applicant must show the disorder through hard evidence. Anxiety cannot simply be verbally diagnosed by the claimant.

The Social Security Administration’s rules have recognized anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The SSA’s listing can be met in a number of ways. First, medical documentation must show three or more symptoms. These symptoms can include restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, or sleep disturbance. These are symptoms for anxiety disorders alone.

A person who claims to have a panic disorder or agoraphobia must either experience panic attacks that cause worry about future panic attacks or fear or anxiety that is exacerbated disproportionately by simple tasks, such as using public transportation, or being in a crowd. In addition, they must also show extreme limitations in interacting with others, maintaining concentration, persistence or pace, understanding, remembering and carrying out simple instructions, or inability to manage personal hygiene and care.

These types of disabilities are difficult to prove. A claimant would benefit from the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney when addressing such issues. An attorney can make sure the medical record is complete and up to date. In addition, an attorney can help you prepare for a hearing so that you know what to expect and are able to answer any question that may be asked.