Many people in Southern California suffer from a variety of mental disorders that manifest themselves as periods of intense anxiety that raise emotional barriers that interfere with working and social functioning. The Social Security Administration has adopted regulations that provide Social Security Disability benefits for anxiety-related disorders that prevent persons from carrying out the routine functions of their jobs.
SSD benefits are available for anxiety disorders that are either the principal disturbance or the result of attempts to master other symptoms such as a phobic disorder. Proving the existence of an anxiety-related disorder can be especially difficult because the illness is almost entirely diagnosed using the subjective accounts of the victim. Unlike many illnesses and injuries, the presence of an anxiety-related disorder cannot be detected by an object test or procedure, such as an X-ray, blood test or CT scan. The reports of examining mental health professionals are therefore an essential part of the application for benefits.
Proving the existence of an anxiety-related disorder requires medically documented findings of a combination of behavioral patterns, such as generalized persistent anxiety, severe panic attacks, recurrent obsessions, irrational fear of an object, situation or activity or recurrent and intrusive memories of a traumatic experience. These behavioral patterns must either cause (a) marked restrictions in the activities of daily living or social functioning or (b) the complete inability to function independently outside of the home.
Anyone who is contemplating applying for SSD benefits based upon an anxiety-related disorder may wish to consult an attorney who specializes in handling disability claims. Such a consultation can provide a useful evaluation of the case and an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining benefits.
Source: ssa.gov, “Disability Evaluation Under Social Security,” Accessed on Jan. 2, 2017