What Do I Do If My Claim Is Denied
The majority of applications are denied, but dont let a claim denial deter you. If you feel you cannot work because of your medical conditions, appeal the denial within 60 days.
Appealing an initial denial moves your claim to the second stage, which is called Reconsideration. Social Security assigns your claim to another disability examiner to reconsider the evidence. Social security may send you reports to complete, or schedule an evaluation with a doctor. It is important to your case that you comply.
The bad news is that most claims that reach the Reconsideration level are denied.
The good news is that if you appeal within 60 days you move to the third level, the Hearing, which is when the majority of applications are approved.
Locking Yourself In The Bathroom
Do you bolt out of your workplace? Do you lock yourself inside the bathroom? Or will you leave your workplace, isolate yourself, suffer in silence and become unable to finish your allocated tasks for the day due to difficulty with concentration and memory?
SSA may want you to obtain a medical opinion from your psychologist regarding the level of your anxiety ranging from mild, moderate to severe.
What are the causes of your anxiety? What is the effect of your anxiety disorder and how does it affect your ability to work?
If you have suffered panic attacks in your previous employment, if possible, try to obtain statements from your previous employer regarding your work absences as a result of anxiety symptoms.
How Can The Disability Tax Credit Help Me
The Disability Tax Credit actually offers a variety of forms of credit, benefits, and grants for those coping with Anxiety Disorders and for those who care for them. The disability tax credit can help with child care or tuition expenses, and even work as reimbursement for medical expenses incurred in treatment of a disorder. As previously mentioned, even an individuals spouse/partner can receive credit if the disabled party is someone with no taxable income.
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Telling Ssa About Your Anxiety And Depression
The first thing you need to do is report to SSA if youre currently seeing a psychologist for any mental treatment, including anxiety and depression. Even if your symptoms arent severe.
If you feel anxious and depressed and are not receiving treatment, its important to seek help right away.
SSA will also demand that you provide them with a complete list of the medications youve been taking for your anxiety and depression.
You should also tell SSA who provided the prescription, the dosages and whether or not you experienced any side effects.
You need to know that its more beneficial to your claim if you get treated for your clinical depression by a mental health professional than by your family doctor.
If you see a social worker, therapist, psychiatrist or psychologist, give their names and contact information to the SSA as well.
The SSA may also ask you to describe how your illnesses affect your daily life on a questionnaire called ADL, Activities of Daily Living.
Many people launching a disability claim do not complete the ADL in detail. The information asked is used in the disability process and is quoted frequently by the judge in a disability court.
So you need to explain all of this information regarding your depression and anxiety in your original questionnaire.
Many people suffering from depression and anxiety experience some symptoms of non-exertional impairments.
Get Proof Of Your Diagnosis
First and foremost, your insurance company will want to see proof of your diagnosis. A psychiatrist, psychologist, or other appropriately qualified mental health professional will able to give you an anxiety disorder diagnosis. While anxiety disorders often present with some physical symptoms, the basis of the diagnosis will come from a psychological evaluation. By comparing your personal symptoms to the criteria listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , your treating medical provider will also be able to narrow down more definitively what type of anxiety disorder you have.
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What Are Counted As Resources
Lets start by whats NOT counted. The following items are NOT counted when SSA computes your resources:
- Any back benefits you will receive as a result of your favorable decision
- The home you live in and the land it is on, if its your primary residence
- Your household goods and personal effects
- One vehicle, regardless of its value, if it is used as transportation
- Grants, scholarships, fellowships, or gifts set aside to pay educational expenses, for a limited period of time after receipt
- Burial spaces and burial funds, up to a certain limit
- Life insurance policies, up to a certain limit
- Property thats essential to supporting yourself
WHAT DOES COUNT:
There are additional items that are NOT counted these are the most common.
It means that if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for three months or more and you were therefore no longer disabled, its a material component of your disability. On the other hand, if you stopped using drugs or alcohol for a period of three months or more, and you were still disabled due to other impairments, drug or alcohol is not a material component.
If you are actively using drugs or alcohol and your only impairment is mental, you are likely to have difficulty being approved for benefits.
If drug or alcohol addiction is found to be a material component of your disability, you cannot receive benefits.
Improve Your Chances For Obtaining Benefits
Your doctor or psychologist may have good insight into the way your anxiety or depression affects your daily activities. The Social Security Administration will want to see evidence of any testing or evaluations diagnosing and treating your mental health impairments. Depression and anxiety cant be shown on an x-ray or an MRI so it will be important to explain to your doctor how you are feeling and receive regular treatment to document your symptoms.
In addition, it is helpful to get support from a treating psychiatrist or psychologist. These are acceptable, preferred medical sources for Social Security disability claims. The opinion of your therapist will also be considered. Make sure to talk to your physician and have them complete a mental residual functional capacity form, which is a written testament that explains that you are unable to perform your job effectively due to anxiety or depression.
To qualify for SSDI or SSI, you must be able to show that your anxiety or depression is severe and prevents you from working full-time or completing all of your activities of daily living. To prove this impairment, you should complete an Activities of Daily Living questionnaire and file it with the Social Security Administration. Completing this questionnaire will help the Social Security Administration understand that your mental health impairment affects your memory, concentration, ability to interact with others, or work absences.
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Dont Panic There Is Help For Your Ssdi Anxiety Claim
Anxiety is normal. Many people get anxious when they have to speak before a large crowd, fly on an airplane, or walk past a dog. The anxiety is short lived and does not affect their everyday lives.
An anxiety disorder is not normal. When you have an anxiety disorder, your anxiety is persistent and may occur for no apparent reason. It impacts your ability to work, to engage in life activities, and to function socially. When anxiety prevents you from holding a job, you may qualify for Social Security disability benefits .
Not all anxiety disorders are severe enough to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. SSDI is only available when the anxiety disorder has lasted or is expected to last for one year or longer and is severe enough to prevent the applicant from being able to work for pay. If you are suffering from temporary anxiety because of a stressful situation in your life, you will not qualify for disability benefits. Nor will you meet the eligibility requirements if you suffer from chronic, long-term anxiety but are still able to hold a job.
The Social Security Administration uses listing 12.06 as guidance when determining if an anxiety disorder is severe enough to qualify a person eligible for benefits. If a person does not meet the criteria of listing 12.06, the applicant must have a medical diagnosis of an anxiety disorder and must be able to show that the disorder interferes with daily life, social functioning, and the ability to hold a job for pay.
Consideration Of Your Residual Functional Capacity
If the SSA says you dont meet the disability listing, the SSA will consider what you can do. It does this by writing up your mental residual functional capacity . An MRFC is a description of what tasks you can do in a work setting it explains your communication skills, your ability to relate to others, your ability to speak to the public, and whether you can be reliable in showing up to work.
For instance, say you have bipolar disorder and there is evidence in your medical records that you have moderate impairment in your social functioning caused by mood swings and you have a moderate level of difficulty with concentration. Your RFC might look like the following: you have no limitations in walking/standing/sitting, you are unable to work with the public, and you are limited to simple 1-2 step instructions. This RFC would prevent you from working in many occupations, but you still would not be found disabled since there are simple unskilled jobs that do not require working with the public. Read more about how the SSA makes this decision in our article on how the SSA evaluates an RFC for disability.
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Applying For Disability Benefits With A Mental Illness
Mental and psychological disabilities are among the conditions that can qualify for benefits from the Social Security Administration . You may qualify with severe depression, bipolar disorder, an anxiety disorder, or another mental illness that prevents you from maintaining gainful employment.
Social Security disability benefits can cover everyday living expenses, medical bills, and other financial obligations. Benefits are paid monthly and can alleviate many of your financial worries, making it possible for you to get by without income from employment.
Is There A Specific Listing For Anxiety
The Social Security Administration recognizes anxiety disorder under Listing of Impairments 12.06: Anxiety-related disorders, which can be found on the Social Security Administration website. However, because most of the listing is structured using medical terminology, it can be quite difficult to know whether you will meet the listing for anxiety disorder. If you or a family member suffers from an anxiety-related disorder and are unable to work and want to know more about whether you might qualify for Social Security disability benefits, now.
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Getting A Disability Claim Started
If you cannot function due to an anxiety disorder, you could be eligible for SSI for anxiety benefits. Although disability due to an anxiety disorder can be difficult to prove due to the subjective nature of the diagnosis, working closely with a medical practitioner and a trained Social Security disability attorney or advocate to gather and present the necessary documentation in support of your disability claim can help you present a complete and accurate disability benefits application. Your application should include a thorough analysis of what an episode of anxiety looks like for you, as well as how often you experience them and how they affect your ability to function.
Disability insurance providers have a high level of skepticism when it comes to mental health, or anxiety claims specifically. Claims adjusters will often thoroughly examine medical records to find ways to refute the allegation. This is why someone who has been diagnosed with anxiety or depression should consult with a lawyer.
You can apply for both Social Security disability insurance , which is based on income. Hire a lawyer to help you file a disability benefits for anxiety claim or, if your original claim has already been denied, to file an appeal. The bottomline is that you do not need to suffer from economic insecurity if you have an anxiety disorder or a physical disability that prevents you from performing at an optimum level. Contact us today.
Rising Cases Of Anxiety Disorders Among Frontline Workers
Due to the pressure created by the COVID-19 pandemic, cases of anxiety disorders are on the rise across the world. This is especially true among doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers who have experienced the worst of the pandemic firsthand. Frontline workers are experiencing burnout and mental illness in much higher numbers than average, which may affect their ability to perform in high-pressure occupations.
If you are a frontline worker and are experiencing mental health strain that is affecting your ability to work, seek psychological help and contact a lawyer to learn more about your disability options.
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Get Help With Your Claim
Working with an experienced attorney can be a helpful step a person with depression or anxiety can take to improve the likelihood of receiving disability benefits. If you are suffering from anxiety or depression that is severe enough to affect your daily life and job responsibilities, reach out to the LaPorte Law Firm for a free consultation. We have over 40 years of experience helping those with mental health impairments win their Social Security benefits.
Those Diagnosed With Severe Anxiety Disorder Ptsd Or Ocd May Be Able To Get Disability Benefits
By Bethany K. Laurence, Attorney
While many individuals claim they are affected by anxiety or stress, an anxiety disorder is a mental condition in which extreme feelings of worry and fear control everyday actions. Only when you experience severe symptoms of anxiety that affect your ability to function at work and at home can you be eligible for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration . Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include an inability to concentrate, avoidance of certain situations, fear of crowds, or feelings of panic. Many people experience an abnormal level of worry and concern, sweating, feeling faint, dry mouth, muscle tension, and hypervigilance.
To be considered for disability benefits due to an anxiety disorder, Social Security requires medical evidence that you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and that as a result of this condition you have been unable to work for at least 12 months. Based on your current income and work history, you may apply for Social Security Disability and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits.
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