Anxiety is a common emotional disorder that can seriously alter your life. People with elevated anxiety can have issues keeping jobs and providing for themselves. Although this is diagnosed as a disorder that does not necessarily mean it is classified as a disability in the eyes of the SSA.
The severity of the patient’s anxiety will be the main determining factor as to whether or not they are eligible for benefits. Anxiety is not one size fits all, there are varying levels of anxiety that each come with their own set of issues for the individual.
To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, a person’s anxiety must have a marked negative impact on their life. If your anxiety interferes with your ability to do every day activities, e.g. bathing, dressing yourself, working, etc., then your level of anxiety will likely qualify you to receive SSD benefits.
Characterizations of Anxiety that Qualify for SSD Benefits
In January 2017, the SSA released an updated listing of the symptoms of elevated anxiety that can qualify an individual to receive SSD benefits.
The list states that in or der to receive SSD benefits the individual must exhibit and be diagnosed with at least 3 of the following characteristics of anxiety:
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Easily Fatigued
- Muscle tension
- Sleep Disturbance
A doctor’s diagnosis noting at least three of these characteristics will be required in order to be considered for disability for an anxiety disorder.
Additional Qualifications for Anxiety Disorders to Receive SSD Benefits
In addition to meeting the requirement of the above characteristics, a patient must also exemplify issues with “functional” criteria in order to be approved for SSD benefits for an anxiety disorder. Meeting these criteria shows the patient’s loss in physical or mental ability to function, due to the disability.
For most disability cases, you must exemplify at least one extreme limitation, or two marked (serious) limitations of the following areas:
- Understanding, applying, or remembering information: This would be noticeable in a patient’s inability to remember new things, apply concepts, use rational judgment, understand new/old ideas, etc.
- Interacting with other people: The inability to use correct social behaviors would meet the requirements or this criteria.
- Adapting and managing yourself: A lack of practical personal skills would be a sign of a disability, e.g. inability to maintain personal hygiene, paying bills, cooking, shopping, etc.
- Concentrating or maintaining a consistent pace in performing tasks: Difficulty focusing on or completing tasks would meet this criteria.
Meeting the qualifications for marked limitations, is more serious than moderate limitations. A professional will be the one to determine the level of seriousness of each of these categories, it is not self-diagnosed.
Anxiety is a serious disorder that can be very debilitating. The SSA has updated its policies to now cover individuals with anxiety disorders and allow them to qualify for disability benefits.
Call JacksonWhite at (480) 467-4395 to discuss your case today.
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