If you have anxiety that is so severe it makes it impossible for you to work, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. Disability benefits are available to anyone that has worked but can no longer work now because of a medical condition. The Social Security Administration awards disability benefits for mental health conditions like anxiety as well as for physical medical conditions.
Follow these steps to apply for Social Security disability benefits for anxiety:
Step 1: Determine How Anxiety Limits You
To qualify for disability benefits, your anxiety or your anxiety’s symptoms must be so severe that you will not be able to work for at least 12 months. Additionally, your anxiety that you have must be severe enough that you cannot perform any of the jobs that you have had in the past either. And your anxiety must impact your ability to perform daily life activities like going outside, using public transportation, going to the grocery store, getting out of bed, or interacting with people.
Step 2: Consult the Blue Book For Anxiety
The Social Security Administration (SSA) lists all of the physical and mental health conditions that qualify someone to receive disability benefits in their Blue Book. Before your application for benefits will be approved you will have to show that you have a condition listed in the Blue Book and that you meet the list of requirements associated with that condition. The Blue Book listing for anxiety disorders states that, in order to qualify for disability benefits, you must have at least three of these symptoms:
- difficulty concentrating
- muscle tension
- sleep disturbance (such as insomnia), and/or
- getting tired easily.
Additionally, you must have an extreme limitation in one of these areas of functioning or a severe limitation in two or more of these areas of functioning:
- understanding, remembering, or applying information (the ability to understand instructions, learn new things, apply new knowledge to tasks, and use judgment in decisions)
- interacting with others (the ability to use socially appropriate behaviors)
- concentrating, persisting, or maintaining pace in performing tasks (the ability to focus and to complete tasks in a timely manner over the course of a workday), and/or
- adapting or managing oneself (being able to respond to demands, adapt to changes, understand what acceptable work performance is, and have practical personal skills like practicing good hygiene).
Step 3: Gather Required Documents
You will need to submit medical evidence like psychological evaluations and medical test results to prove you meet the listing requirements in the Blue Book. But you will also need to submit copies of your proof of citizenship, your entire work history, your Social Security card, your birth certificate, and your tax information when you apply for disability benefits.
Step 4: Speak With a Disability Attorney
Fill out the Free Case Evaluation form on this page to get connected with a disability attorney who can help you today.