In recent years, researchers have noted a sharp increase in reports of people suffering from anxiety. In most cases, this anxiety is temporary and manageable, but for many people, it is overwhelming.
Can these people rely upon Social Security Disability benefits?
The answer may be yes, if they have enough work credits and if their condition is severe enough that it meets the Social Security Administration’s eligibility standards.
Types of anxiety
Almost everyone experiences some type of anxiety or stress at some point in their lives, but when anxiety becomes severe, it turns into a disorder. Psychologists recognize several types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, post-traumatic stress and phobias.
Generalized anxiety disorder is the most common type. By some estimates, more than 3% of American adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. Less than half of these adults receive treatment for their anxiety.
As its name implies, generalized anxiety disorder is a broad category. It typically involves worry that is persistent and excessive about a broad range of things. It is often paired with depression. Women are much more likely than men to experience generalized anxiety disorder.
Many people who have an anxiety disorder can benefit from therapy and/or medication, but for others the problem can interfere with every aspect of their daily lives, making it difficult or impossible to work.
The Social Security Administration recognizes anxiety disorders among its long list of disabilities, known as the Blue Book. If you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits and you can prove that your anxiety disorder makes it impossible for you to work, you may be able to apply for and receive benefits.
The Social Security Administration’s list of qualifying conditions is notoriously exacting and the agency demands a great deal of documentation from those who are applying for benefits. Attorneys can help applicants to gather their documentation and make the best applications they can. If, as often happens, a first application is rejected, attorneys argue on behalf of their clients at hearings and appeals.