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Does anxiety qualify one for Social Security Disability?

It happens to many Americans every day. They wake up in the morning and find themselves paralyzed with fear. Their anxiety is so overwhelming that they find it hard to function in a way that society has deemed as "normal." This can seriously affect an individual's life. He or she may struggle to develop and hold relationships as well as find and maintain employment. This lack of employment, in turn, can cause financial stress that can threaten to leave the sufferer destitute. This is often unfair and can even be unacceptable.

Fortunately, the Social Security Disability system exists to help those who are considered disabled. To be considered disabled, however, certain requirements must be met. The same holds true for those who suffer from anxiety attacks. In order to qualify for disability income, an individual must have anxiety that is predominant or is onset by trying to master its symptoms.

The disorder, once found to be present, must also be shown to be severe enough to considered disabling. For anxiety-related conditions, the disorder must be cause irrational fear of a situation, activity or object that is consistent and that causes behavior consistent with avoiding the triggering situation. Panic attacks may also qualify if they occur an average of once per week. Also, recollections of an experience that was traumatic may qualify an individual for disability benefits.

It is worth noting, though, that even if the above named symptoms exist, they must also restrict an individual's every day activities, affect his or her social functioning, decrease his or her concentration, or render him or her incapable of functioning independently outside of the residence.

This is a mere brief overview of how one may qualify for Social Security disability if he or she suffers from anxiety. To learn more about the law and how it may apply to their specific situation, however, sufferers should consider speaking with a legal professional.

Source: Social Security Administration, "12.06 Anxiety-related disorders," accessed on Oct. 3, 2015

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
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