An alarming number of Americans suffer from anxiety – many of them dealing with it in private. Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the United States, equating to approximately 18% of the population. 

For many, anxiety can affect their daily lives by making it harder to do even elemental tasks. This may also include essential functions at their jobs and homes, putting them at risk of losing employment, companionship, and more. 

panic attack disability

Can you Go on Disability for Anxiety? 

Individuals who suffer from severe anxiety disorders may get approved for social security disability (SSDI) benefits. Anxiety disorders can include phobias, panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or general anxiety. 

The key to getting approved for disability benefits with anxiety is documentation that shows a clear diagnosis tied to severe limitations. In addition, the anxiety disorder must be considered chronic in that it is expected to last at least 12 months. Specifically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has created a list of requirements that a specific anxiety disorder must adhere to in order to be considered for benefits. This system disqualifies general life stressors that someone may experience from qualifying for disability benefits. 

Anxiety Disorders that Qualify as Disabilities 

If the SSA approves someone for SSDI based on their anxiety, it must be because the condition will last more than 12 months and that it is found that the disorder doesn’t allow them to do any type of work. The anxiety disorder must cause limitations in the following areas: 

  • Ability to understand instructions, learn new things, and remember 
  • Ability to interact with others in an appropriate manner
  • Ability to be persistent in relation to completing tasks
  • Ability to take care of personal matters such as showering, cooking, and paying bills

Suppose someone receives medication for one of the above situations that improve their ability to react to them. In that case, they may still qualify for disability benefits if a setback is a real possibility. 

If psychological tests and documentation support that someone has any of the following, they could qualify for disability benefits: 

  • Persistent and lasting anxiety – This may include overall restlessness and chronic fear or stress about things in life. 
  • An irrational fear classified as a phobia – This includes defined phobias such as the fear of heights (acrophobia), fear of leaving the house (agoraphobia), and others. 
  • Persistent panic attacks – This includes episodes where fear intensifies to a crippling state that causes a severe increase in heart rate, sweating, and other symptoms.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – This includes thoughts that someone cannot get rid of until they repeatedly complete a specific task, sometimes involving basic functions like checking something or related to fear of germs.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – This is a repeated reaction to an unpleasant event that can be triggered in flashback episodes that cause the person to become unpredictable and even violent. 

Disability Approval from Anxiety

If you have a form of anxiety listed above and require disability benefits due to an inability to work or function normally, you can apply for SSDI benefits. Tabak Law can help with this process in their home base of Milwaukee or all over the United States. If you have been denied social security benefits in Milwaukee, or anywhere, the professionals at Tabak can help as well. Tabak Law has a long list of denied clients that ultimately received benefits thanks to help of the attorneys on staff.

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