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Can you receive Social Security disability for anxiety attacks?

While people in Kissimmee think about the prototypical issues that spark a filing for Social Security disability benefits, they think of a clear-cut problem that is there for all to see. The problem is that when a person is suffering from mental illness, it's not as blatant but can be just as severe. Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions are available for those who meet the criteria. If there are anxiety attacks, it's imperative to know the factors that must be in place to have a chance at approval.

Those who have anxiety that prevents them from functioning normally might meet qualifying mental conditions to receive benefits. If anxiety is the main problem or it occurs when the person tries to overcome their symptoms, there is the chance to be approved. An example is if the person confronts the subject that causes them dread. This could be a situation, object, phobia or resistance to the obsessions or compulsions if the problem is OCD. For the granting of benefits, the requirements of category A and B or A and C must be met.

For A, there must be anxiety that is generalized and persistent and has three out of the following -- motor tension, vigilance and scanning or apprehensive expectation. There must also be a fear that is considered persistent and irrational of a situation, activity or object that leads to the avoidance of it. There must be panic attacks with sense of impending doom at least one time per week. There must be a recurring compulsion or obsession leading to marked distress. There must be a recurring, intrusive recall of an experience that is considered traumatic and leads to marked distress.

For B, there must be two of the following -- restriction of daily activities, difficulty to maintain social function, difficulty concentrating persisting or pacing, or decompensating for an extended period repeatedly. For C, there must be a complete inability for the individual to function independently when out of the home environment. For those who believe they are suffering from mental illness and wonder whether they can receive Social Security disability benefits for mental conditions, it's important to speak to a legal professional with experience in clients who suffer from these issues.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Anxiety-related disorders," accessed on Dec. 16, 2014

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