While many people are impacted by anxiety or stress, an anxiety disorder is a serious condition that could your ability to function at home or at work. But is anxiety a disability according to the SSA?
What Evidence Do You Need to Prove Disability?
Your condition may be covered under Social Security’s Adult Listing 12.06 for anxiety-related mental disorders. However, you must meet specific requirements in order to be considered disabled. You must be diagnosed by a doctor and exhibit three or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbance
- Being easily tired
Additionally, you must be able to show that your anxiety-related mental disorder affects your ability to function normally. The SSA will look for a “marked problem” or serious limitation in at least two of these areas:
- Understanding, remembering, or using information
- Interacting with others in social situations
- Concentrating or maintaining pace in doing tasks
- Adapting to change or taking care of oneself
If you have been going through intense therapy or living in a highly protected situation, the SSA may look at your condition differently. Functional abilities may appear to be better in these situations than they would in real-life situations. Thus, if medical professionals have documented your disorder as serious and persistent over at least the past two years and you’ve been in a structured environment with ongoing treatment, you may qualify for disability if you can show that you have little to no capacity to adapt to environmental changes or demands of everyday life.
Can You Get Disability for Anxiety If You Don’t Meet the Listing?
If you don’t meet all of the requirements of the listing, you may still be able to get disability if you can show that there are significant limitations on your residual functional capacity (RFC). The RFC outlines what types of work tasks you can perform and how often. This will help the SSA determine what type of work you can do, if any. If you are unable to perform a simple unskilled job, you may still be found to be disabled.
How Anxiety Can Impact a Physical Disability Claim
If you are seeking disability for a physical condition, you may be able to support your claim by showing that your anxiety contributes to your inability to work.
Even if your symptoms are moderate, you should tell the SSA if you are receiving treatment for an anxiety-related mental disorder or depression. The SSA will consider your psychological symptoms in combination with your physical impairment. They will also evaluate how all of your impairments affect your daily life and Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Since the SSA will consider all of your limitations in combination, it’s important to fully complete the questionnaire and detail both your exertional and nonexertional limitations.
Contact a Detroit Disability Attorney Today
Is anxiety a disability? It can be, but it will require the help of an experienced disability attorney to prove it to the SSA. To learn more about how to obtain disability benefits for an anxiety disorder, contact Marc J. Shefman today.