If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.
Those affected experience major disruptions to both work and life because of its limitations. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer financially from an anxiety disorder as you may be eligible for disability benefits which are funded by the Social Security Administration.
Social Security disability is usually available to those suffering medical conditions that will prevent a person from involvement in gainful employment for at least 12 months. There are many types of anxiety disorders that may be covered by disability benefits including the following:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder;
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD);
- Panic Disorder;.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD);
- Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder).
Anxiety disorders don’t just affect your mental health but can affect your physical health too. Anxiety may, if severe enough, cause chest pain, rapid heart rate and palpitations. You may also experience a rise in blood pressure and heart disease. If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, an anxiety disorder may even heighten the risk of a heart attack.
Digestive problems can also occur like loss of appetite, nausea, and stomach cramps. If the stress persists for a long time stomach ulcers may develop. These are serious health conditions and may have an undesirable affect on your quality of life.
Quality of Life
Someone who feels anxious constantly it may have a serious impact on quality of life and could even lead to difficulties in leaving the home because of the insecurity felt outside. This not only limits the victims ability to make and keep friends but they also have difficulty with holding down a job so will suffer financial hardship as a result.
No one really wants to associate themselves with someone who always expresses anxiety. The victim as a result becomes socially isolated. The willingness to meet new people and try new things can begin to dwindle. This can lead to further complications with relationships because as communication with others drops so does the ability of the victim to rekindle their interest in building new relationships.
If the symptoms of the anxiety are severe, it may not only be difficult carrying out day to day tasks but also going to work might be just about impossible. If the anxiety has got to this point and the victim someone is struggling and is unable to work because of it, they can file a claim for a disability benefit. These are provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA) for those struggling with anxiety disorders and have no financial means to support themselves. Evidence proving the presence of an anxiety must show the victim is unable to work for at least 12 months.
Evidence to Help a Disability Benefits Application
The SSA will not approve a disability benefits application unless there is sufficient documentary evidence proving the presence of the anxiety disorder.
These appear in the Blue Book Listing 12.06. To meet the listing requirements you need to have a doctor's diagnosis for anxiety that shows you have the at least 3 of the following symptoms:
- sleep disturbance;
- signs of irritability;
- muscle tension;
- difficulty with concentrating;
- becoming tired easily.
If your doctor states you have a problem with any of the following which prevents you from working you are more likely to have your disability benefits claim approved:
- Lack of ability with understanding instructions;
- Unable to learn new things;
- Difficulties with interacting appropriately with others;
- Difficulties with concentrating or maintaining a sufficient pace when performing tasks.
If the SSA states that the evidence is insufficient, you should request a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment that shows how well the victim can move, carry heavy goods and his or her ability to handle mental tasks while suffering from a anxiety disorder.
What You Will Need to Know When Filing for a Disability Benefit for an Anxiety Disorder
Winning a disability benefits claim from the SSA is never easy at the best of times. It is important to get a detailed report from a physician which describes why you are unable to work. You will also need proof that your anxiety condition will persist for at least 12 months. A disability lawyer can help you with all aspects of completing your application for a disability benefit, including an appeal if your claim is denied.
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