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Qualifying for SSD benefits when you suffer from anxiety

Many disabilities cannot be seen with the naked eye. Although a person does not look disabled on the outside, this does not mean that they are not suffering from a disability on the inside. Mental conditions can be very challenging to live with. Some find it difficult to keep a job. The inability to work can be very hard on a person, making it impossible to meet their basic financial needs.

The SSA has provided programs for individuals to obtain disability benefits. SSD benefits can be necessary, but the application process can seem intimating. For those suffering from anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder, it is possible to recover SSD benefits for these conditions if the definition of the disability is met.

According to the SSA, medical documentation of this medical condition is required. First, this documentation must show that the applicant has an anxiety disorder that is characterized by three of the following: restlessness, easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension or sleep disturbance.

For those suffering from panic disorders or agoraphobia, it must be shown that the panic attacks are followed by a persistent concern or worry about additional panic attacks or their consequences, or a disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations. For OCD, one or both of these factors must exist: involuntary, time consuming preoccupation with intrusive unwanted thoughts or repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety.

In addition to meeting these characteristics, there must also be extreme limitation in one of the following or marked limitation in at least two of the following: understanding, remembering or applying information, interacting with others, concentrating, persisting or maintaining pace or adapting or managing oneself. If this is not evidenced, this can also be met if the mental condition is considered serious and persistent, lasting at least two years, with a medical history as evidence.

Living with a mental condition, such as anxiety, can be debilitating, causing major impacts and presenting challenges to a person's daily life. Applying for and being approved to receive SSD benefits might be the only way an individual is able to overcome these difficulties and address related financial hardships.

Source: Ssa.gov, "12.06 Anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders," accessed March 25, 2018

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