Does anxiety qualify for social security benefits?

Most people feel anxiety at one point in their lives. We feel anxious before a big presentation, a final exam or even before we walk down the aisle. However, there is a significant difference between feeling anxious and having anxiety.

Anxiety is a mental disorder that often provokes feelings of panic or fear. It also causes uncontrollable thought and inflicts constant worry on the minds of those with it. It’s a severe disorder that affects every aspect of a person, including their job.

Is anxiety a disability?

It’s evident that anxiety takes a significant toll on a person’s headspace; it also affects a person’s ability to work and function as an employee. It makes sense that the government may want to classify anxiety, along with several other mental illnesses, as eligible for social security benefits.

However, it’s not enough to be diagnosed with anxiety. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), your mental disorder must meet specific qualifications before you receive benefits:

  1. There must be medical evidence of your anxiety.
  2. You have to undergo an evaluation to determine if your disorder is severe enough to qualify as a disability.
  3. The anxiety must be a persistent issue throughout your career to be eligible for benefits.

The qualifications are purposefully vague because mental illnesses will look different on everyone. The government cannot state that you must have panic attacks to qualify for benefits; they need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis to ensure the benefits are used most efficiently.

The SSA does provide examples and guidance on what makes a person eligible for social security, but you will want to work with an attorney to ensure you have the best chances of receiving the benefits you need – and deserve.

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