Is Anxiety a Disability?

Yes, anxiety is considered a disability by the Social Security Administration (SSA). There are several symptoms of anxiety that qualify for disability benefits and these are fatigue, difficulty concentrating and irritability. Anxiety is also a condition where the victim experiences ongoing feelings of apprehension, uneasiness and tension. These feelings can be so overwhelming that even terror may be experienced when participating in ordinary events or everyday situations. Because of the effects anxiety could have if the victim worked it means he or she is not capable of engaging in work for the duration of the anxiety. Unable to work due to anxiety means the victim should qualify for disability benefits.

Is Anxiety a Disability?

So, is anxiety a disability? This can be a tough question to answer. This is, in part, because anxiety is such a multi-faceted disorder. That being said, the short answer to this question is yes, anxiety is considered a disability by the SSA. To get disability benefits for anxiety you will need to meet a Blue Book listing and provide enough medical evidence that proves your anxiety is going to prevent you from working for at least 12 months.

anxiety-disability-femaleAnxiety disorders such as OCD, PTSD, phobias, and panic disorders are considered to be disabilities. Thus, such anxiety disorders can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, in order to qualify, someone with an anxiety disorder must provide the Social Security Administration with evidence that (1) highlights the severity of their anxiety, and (2) supports that they are unable to work due to the severity of their anxiety disorder’s symptoms.

Typically mental health conditions like an anxiety disorder is considered to be a disability when it reaches the point at which it has a significant and long-term effect on one’s ability to function normally—in other words, carry out typical daily activities like work. 

If you are someone who has an anxiety disorder, and you are unable to work for the next 12 months as a result of your anxiety disorder’s severity, you could consider applying for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify, and have the best chance of getting approved, for disability benefits for your anxiety disorder, you will need to have extensive medical records, documentation, as well as notes from your doctor that convey to the SSA that (1) you are seeking treatment for your anxiety, and (2) your anxiety is a disability because, despite the professional help you are getting, you have found yourself in a position in which you are no longer able to keep working full-time. 

What Is Anxiety Disorder (i.e., Anxiety)? 

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health disorders today. Generally speaking, anxiety is a term used to describe feelings of uneasiness, fear, and dread. Typically, when people start to feel anxious, they are tense, might start sweating, and also may notice they have an increased heart rate.


Anxiety is the abbreviated term used to describe what is called an anxiety disorder. An anxiety disorder is a mental health disorder that is distinguished by feelings of fear, worry, or anxiety that are significant enough to get in the way of an individual’s day-to-day activities. There are 5 types of anxiety disorders: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, Phobias, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is the most common type of anxiety disorder. According to data from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, GAD affected 6.8 million adults in the United States alone in 2022. That is 3.1% of the entire U.S. population. Out of these 6.3 million people suffering from GAD, only 2,937,600 (43.2%) are receiving treatment. 

Despite the discrepancy in treatment-seeking, Generalized Anxiety Disorder is an incredibly debilitating and prevalent mental illness. Research has shown a direct correlation between anxiety disorders, particularly Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and impaired daily functioning. This is because anxiety disorder’s nature of bringing about excessive, unrealistic, and persistent worries in regards to everyday things makes it more difficult for people to take risks, try new things, and occasionally even leave the house. 

Types of Anxiety That Are a Disability

There are five major types of anxiety disorders—each of which are characterized by specific symptoms. The five types of anxiety disorders are as follows:


  • Post-traumatic stress disorder is considered to be anxiety particularly when severe stress symptoms last for more than one month caused after being a witness to a traumatic event;
  • Phobias which are irrational, overwhelming and uncontrolled fear of common situations, things, places, or events;
  • Panic disorder which is repeated attacks of anxiety or terror that persist for at least 10 minutes with no diagnosed cause;
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) which is repetitive behavior that tries to lower or control anxiety symptoms;
  • Generalized anxiety disorder which is when the victim is experiencing a constant state of tension and worry with no particular reason diagnosed and it is considered a disability if it persists for at least six months.

How to Get Disability Benefits For Anxiety

In the Blue Book anxiety and anxiety disorders are listed in section 12.06. These disorders are classified as excessive anxiety, fear, worry, apprehension or by avoiding feelings, thoughts, activities, objects, places, or people. Symptoms could include restlessness, difficulty in concentrating, hyper-vigilance, muscle tension, sleep disturbance, fatigue, panic attacks, obsessions and compulsions, constant thoughts and fears about safety, and frequent physical complaints. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above you should qualify for disability benefits. You will need to get your doctor to provide a report describing your symptoms and that they will last for at least twelve months.

Get Help With Your Anxiety Disability Claim

It is never easy to win a disability claim for anxiety as you have to be able to prove that your anxiety is going to last for at least twelve months and this has to be supported by relevant evidence. If you work with an attorney you should have a higher chance of winning a disability claim for your anxiety as an attorney knows what the SSA requires for successful disability claims for anxiety.

Fill out a free case evaluation today.

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