How to Get Disability for Anxiety & Obsessive Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is a federal program designed to offer financial support to individuals with disabilities that impact their ability to work and take care of themselves.
To be eligible for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, an individual must be unable to take part in what is known as Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), and therefore unable to make a steady income. Additionally, disabilities that qualify for SSDI often make it difficult or impossible for claimants to manage daily tasks without assistance, leave the house, maintain concentration or social functioning, and various other tasks.
Many people who apply for SSDI suffer from physical impairments that limit their ability to complete daily tasks and take care of themselves, while others are suffering from debilitating mental disorders. To qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance with a mental disorder, the individual needs to file a claim under the Mental Disorders category in the Blue Book.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) references what is known as the Blue Book to approve or deny disability claims. The Blue Book is broken up into various categories that list and describe qualifying disorders. Under the Mental Disorders category, section 12.06 is dedicated to anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders.
The symptoms of these types of disorders go beyond normal stress. In order to qualify for benefits, claimants must be able to prove the following:
- Symptoms are debilitating and interfere with earning a steady income/taking part in SGA, and negatively impact the claimant’s ability to function independently, complete daily tasks (such as paying bills), maintain healthy social connections, interact appropriately with others, etc.
- Symptoms are chronic and expected to last for at least 12 months
- Symptoms meet one or several of those specifically listed under section 12.06 in the Blue Book
How the SSA Evaluates Anxiety & OCD for Disability Benefits
Anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders are evaluated under section 12.06 in the Blue Book. These disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety/worry, apprehension, and fear, typically leading to avoidant behaviors related to feelings, thoughts, people, places, activities, objects, etc. Often, symptoms include things like restlessness, hyper-vigilance, difficulty concentrating, sleep disturbance, fatigue, muscle tension, panic attacks, obsessions and compulsive behavior (common OCD symptoms), frequent physical complaints, and more.
Examples of disorders that fall under this category include:
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Agoraphobia (and other phobias)
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The SSA requires claimants to provide proof that their specific anxiety disorder causes severe limitations in their lives. This involves providing the SSA with medical evidence of a diagnosis, including psychological tests and a history of documented symptoms, as well as supporting non-medical criteria.
Filing for SSDI for Anxiety and OCD
If you are struggling to file for SSDI for anxiety and panic attacks, OCD, or other related anxiety disorders and related symptoms, reach out to Peña & Bromberg today to find out if you are eligible for SSDI benefits.
Applying for SSDI can be quite difficult and time consuming, which is why it is important to hire a disability attorney with experience to help you file your claim. Our lawyers at Peña & Bromberg will help you gather the necessary medical documentation, file your claim correctly, and on time.
If you are struggling to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, contact us today to request a free consultation.