According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 18% of Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Anxiety disorders include any mental illness that causes pathological anxiety or fear. Symptoms may be constant, or they may occur in episodes. Not all anxiety disorders are serious. An applicant may only qualify for Social Security disability benefits when an anxiety disorder interferes with the ability to hold a job and participate in life activities. An applicant can qualify by meeting or equaling listing or by not being able to obtain or sustain any work because of their restrictions.
There are five types of anxiety disorders included in the Social Security Administration’s listing of mental health disorders:
- Generalized anxiety disorder: A state of constant tension or worry that tends to be broad and not limited to particular situations or circumstances.
- Socialized anxiety disorder: The symptoms you experience are related to scrutiny or evaluation you expect from others in a social or performance situation.
- Panic disorder: Panic disorder is characterized by repeated episodes of unprovoked anxiety or terror. These episodes can last up to ten minutes and include physical symptoms such as shaking, racing heartbeat, breathing difficulties, and nausea. The person may believe he or she is having a heart attack.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Those with OCD suffer from frequent intrusive thoughts or impulses known as obsessions which they try to control through repetitive behaviors known as compulsions.
- Agoraphobia: Those who suffer from agoraphobia fear public or open spaces, whether in the company of other people or not. People with this condition try to avoid situations or crowds because they fear embarrassment of having a panic attack. Additionally, they are afraid to walk alone in a secluded place, fearing they won’t get help if they’re faced with a panic situation.
Most individuals don't meet a listing. However, many of our clients qualify because they are not able to sustain work activity. Many anxiety disorders can be treated with a combination of medication and mental health counseling. However, some people do not respond well to medication. These people may find it difficult to deal with the stress of working. To learn more about SSDI for anxiety disorders, read our article, “Don’t Panic! There Is Help for Your SSDI Anxiety Claim.” Call for a free evaluation with an Omaha disability benefits attorney by contacting Cuddigan Law at 402-933-5405.