Social Security Disability Claims based on Anxiety


A person who has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder can win Social Security Disability benefits for that mental disorder if it is severe enough and if they meet the financial guidelines for eligibility. Listing 12.06 of the Code of Federal Regulations covers generalized anxiety disorders it includes such subsets as obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.  For example, if you want to show disability based on post-traumatic stress disorder the listing is going to require that the flashbacks and the sleeplessness and the distressful memories of the traumatic event that you experienced result in marketed or extreme limitations in your basic day-to-day functioning.

For example, your activities of daily living, your ability to socialize and interact with others and your ability to maintain concentration persistence in pace and just deal ordinary workplace stress.  It is not uncommon for my Social Security Disability clients with anxiety disorders to suffer either ongoing panic attacks or agoraphobia, where they are unable to leave their house for an extended period of time especially exposing themselves to the public.  This can obviously play an important part in whether or not that person can maintain work activity.  If that person has a lot of panic attacks, I make sure that they tell their psychiatric or psychological treatment provider the frequency and duration of those panic attacks so that we have an ongoing record in their medical file of how frequently this person has these panic attacks.  If they go to the emergency room we need to get those records to show that they had a panic attack that was so severe that it required hospital treatment.

Frequently a person will go to the emergency room and think that they are having a heart attack and so the panic attack records from the emergency room will be full of EKG or ECT testing to rule out a heart attack and it confirms that the shortness of breath and chest pain was in fact a severe panic attack.  Even if we cannot meet the listing in medical criteria for 12.06 for a type of anxiety disorder it is still possible to win Social Security Disability benefits based on an anxiety disorder at step five of the sequential evaluation process by showing that that person would be off task due to the severe panic attacks at least fifty percent or more of the work day or that they would be leaving work early or calling in absent once or twice per month on a month-to-month basis.  Finally, anxiety is most commonly one of many factors in my cases for Social Security Disability.

My clients often experience both depression and anxiety.  It is related to a physical or other mental disability.  It is related to the extreme severe stress that they are under because they don’t have money.  They are having difficult personal relations because of their newly disabled status so anxiety and depression are both common impairments in even my physical and other mental claims.  If you do have anxiety it is most important to get treatment and comply with your medication so we have a medical documentation.

This short informational blog post was provided by Anne Howard, an experienced Connecticut Social Security Disability Attorney.