Is Anxiety a Disability?

Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by intense fear, apprehension, and terror that can be triggered by a situation, object, or activity. This fear can be so intense that it results in a significant desire to avoid the situation altogether. Anxiety can also be accompanied by autonomic hyperactivity, such as increased heart rate, sweating, and trembling.

For some individuals, anxiety can be a disability that prevents them from maintaining social functioning or even performing routine activities of daily life. In such cases, they may be eligible for social security disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes anxiety as a mental disorder that may qualify an individual for disability benefits. The SSA lists anxiety under its Listing of Impairments, which is a list of physical or mental impairments that can qualify an individual for social security disability insurance.

The listing for anxiety can be found at 12.06, and it includes a detailed description of the symptoms that must be present to qualify for social security disability benefits. These symptoms include marked difficulties with persistence, marked difficulties maintaining social functioning, and restrictions on routine activities of daily life.

The listing also includes other symptoms such as unpredictable episodes of intense fear, recurring intrusive remembrances of a traumatic experience that causes marked distress, and repeated periods of decompensation each of extended duration. These symptoms are often associated with disorders like Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Panic Disorders, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

To qualify for social security disability benefits based on anxiety, an individual must meet the criteria listed in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. This means that they must have a medically determinable impairment that has lasted or is expected to last for at least 12 months.

In conclusion, anxiety can be a disabling condition that can prevent individuals from maintaining social functioning and performing routine activities of daily life. If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety and is unable to work because of it, you may be eligible for social security disability benefits. Contact the SSA to learn more about the application process and the requirements for qualifying for disability benefits based on anxiety.


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