Living with an anxiety disorder can be frustrating and challenging. Occasional feelings of anxiety are typical, but generalized anxiety disorders can make it difficult to maintain gainful employment if you’ve been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder and cannot work. As a result, you may be entitled to SSDI disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
At Disability Advocates Group, we understand how difficult it is to pursue benefits for generalized anxiety disorder. Our experienced legal team helps clients throughout the greater Los Angeles area successfully apply for disability benefits with generalized anxiety disorder. We will help you every step of the way. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to schedule your free case evaluation and learn whether you qualify for these essential benefits.
What Are the Symptoms of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder?
The most common symptom of generalized anxiety disorder is excessive worry or fear. However, an anxiety disorder can and often does affect a person physically. Individuals diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder can suffer a wide range of symptoms, and each patient is unique. Some of the most common symptoms include the following:
- Inability to remain calm
- Panic and fear
- Obsessively avoiding feared objects or places
- Shortness of breath
- Recurring nightmares
- Constant worry of fear or danger
Is Generalized Anxiety Disorder Qualifying for Disability Benefits?
The Social Security Administration recognizes four specific types of anxiety disorders qualifying in pyramids and its Blue Book. Specifically, Section 12.06 addresses anxiety disorders. Applicants may have one or more of the following types of anxiety disorders. The first anxiety disorder is called generalized anxiety disorder.
Applicants with a generalized anxiety disorder may worry about many different things for little or no reason. They may perceive that a situation is life-threatening when it isn’t. Additionally, they may become so worried about making a bad decision that they are unable to make decisions.
The Blue Book also recognizes panic disorder, characterized by intense, sudden fear or a sense of impending danger. A patient may have chest pains, palpitations, or break out in a sweat.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social anxiety disorder occurs when a patient has an overwhelming fear and self-consciousness about everyday situations. They may worry about appearing anxious and try to avoid social situations. They may experience extreme stress when a social situation can’t be avoided.
Individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder experience uncontrollable recurring thoughts or behavior. They may repeat these thoughts or behaviors over and over. An example would be excessive hand washing because of a fear of germs or rearranging objects in a specific order. Although most medical experts don’t consider obsessive-compulsive disorder to be under the umbrella of an anxiety disorder, the Social Security Administration still evaluates obsessive-compulsive disorder in this category.
Applying for SSI/SSDI Benefits for Anxiety Disorders
Qualifying for social security benefits based on generalized anxiety disorder is challenging, but it is possible. To qualify for disability benefits with an anxiety disorder requires you to meet some rigid eligibility requirements related to your symptoms and functional limitations. For example, you will need to prove that you have an anxiety disorder with at least three of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia
- Muscle tension
- Becoming tired easily
In addition to meeting this requirement, you must also show that you have an extreme limitation in at least one of the following areas. You’ll also need to show that you have a marked limitation in at least two of the following areas:
- Concentrating, persisting, and maintaining pace when completing tasks
- Understanding, remembering, and applying information
- Interacting with others and using socially appropriate behaviors
- Adapting or managing oneself by being able to respond to demands, adapt to challenges, and understand acceptable work performance
A marked limitation means that the impairment severely limits you. An extreme impairment isn’t as severe as completely losing the ability to do something, but it’s more significant than a marked limitation. After you submit your application, a claims examiner from the Social Security Administration will review your medical and vocational information and determine whether you meet the eligibility requirement. Even if your anxiety disorder doesn’t meet the Blue Book Listing, you may still be eligible for benefits if you have another impairment, such as asthma or high blood pressure.
How Can Disability Advocates Group Help Me?
At Disability Advocates Group, we help applicants complete a thorough application for benefits to give them the best likelihood of success. We will work with your doctor and medical and vocational experts to include detailed information about how your anxiety disorder affects your day-to-day life and ability to obtain or retain gainful employment. Some applicants may have difficulty meeting the second set of criteria for benefits because they have a special living arrangement, such as a group home, making their functional abilities appear to be better than they are in reality.
We will work with you to include evidence that you should still qualify for benefits because you have had a medically documented disorder for at least two years, live in a highly structured setting, or receive medical treatment that lessens your symptoms. You show a minimal capacity to adapt to situations outside of your typical environment and daily life. We will help you every step of the way, including helping you gather the following important evidence to support your claim:
- A diagnosis of an anxiety disorder from a medical professional
- Notes from your psychologist, psychiatrist, or therapist
- Results of psychological testing
- Records from as many people as possible
- An adult functioning report
Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Disability Attorney
Anxiety disorders are some of the most common types of mental health disorders, affecting approximately 40 million adults in the United States. If you are among the many people diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration denies most applications because the anxiety disorder isn’t severe enough to qualify. Working with an experienced attorney can improve your application’s acceptance. Contact Disability Advocates Group today to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more.