Eligibility Criteria For Ssd And Ssi Benefits
Although people with anxiety may be eligible for SSD or SSI benefits, the evaluation process of social security administration is strict. Even if you believe you are qualified, your application will almost certainly be denied the first time around.
To make your anxiety disorder disability case more strong, your anxiety must:
- Obstruct your ability to work full-time
- Has lasted for at least one year or is anticipated to last for at least one year
- Be dangerous to your life.
The following medical evidence regarding your anxiety will make you eligible to qualify for SSD benefits:
- Autonomic hyperactivity/ apprehensive expectation
Not Yet Diagnosed With Anxiety
Anxiety is a mental health condition that affects your emotions, cognitive abilities, and behavior. Depending on the severity, anxiety can even affect the body’s ability to function physically.
Statistics show that as much as 18% of Americans may suffer from an anxiety disorder. Common anxiety disorders include: panic disorder, PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder.
Anxiety Disorder Symptoms:
- Feelings of fear and panic
- Inability to control thoughts
- Inability to concentrate on daily tasks
- Problems sleeping
- Cold or sweaty hands and feet
If you believe you have an anxiety disorder, you should visit a physician to be diagnosed. You will need to have an official diagnosis and should be undergoing treatment before ever applying for SSD benefits.
Eligibility For Ssd And Ssi Benefits
Those who have been diagnosed with anxiety may be eligible for SSD or SSI benefits, but the Social Security Administration’s evaluation process is very tough. Even if you believe you qualify, your application is likely to be denied the first time.
To be considered ‘disabled’ by the Social Security Administration, your anxiety must:
- Keep you from working full-time
- Have lasted, or is expected to last, for at least one year
- Be life-threatening
The following will make you more likely to qualify for SSD benefits:
- You were diagnosed with anxiety by a physician or specialist
- You are undergoing treatment and regularly visit your doctor or specialist
- Your anxiety is chronic and makes you unable to work or complete daily tasks
- You have other mental health conditions or physical disabilities
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Basic Eligibility For Benefits
The SSA must see that you meet basic eligibility requirements before further reviewing your application for benefits. This basic eligibility includes having:
- A formal diagnosis of a potentially disabling condition
- A diagnosed condition that will disable you for 12 months of longer
After the SSA confirms that you meet basic eligibility, they will then move on to review your medical condition in detail and verify that you meet all program requirements for SSDI and/or SSI.
What You Should Know About Disability Claims For Anxiety And Depression
Anxiety and depressive disorders can cause a variety of symptoms which can be severe and can interfere with your day to day life and ability to function overall, including in the workplace.
Because psychological illnesses are not easily seen, they are referred to as invisible illnesses. When applying for long-term disability benefits, it is important to show that you have attended treatment that is appropriate for your condition and seen the proper specialist. You want to demonstrate you are under the regular care of the appropriate physicians and are complying with treatment recommendations.
When you apply for disability benefits, both you and your doctor are required to complete a form as part of the application. The Member/Employee Statement gives you a chance to explain exactly how and why your symptoms prevent you from working and how they affect your daily life. You have the opportunity to explain in your own words why you had to stop working.
The Attending Physicians Statement should be completed by the doctor that knows the most about your condition. This form allows that doctor to explain your diagnosis, your restrictions and limitations . The doctor should clearly outline how these restrictions and limitations relate to your job duties.
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Where To Get Help
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America lists several helpful resources that can connect you with others nearby who also have anxiety and depression that interferes with normal living. You can also find groups and treatment resources in your own ZIP code by searching the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration s online resource database. These resources are free, and the communities and providers they connect you with can often help you at reduced or no cost. You do not have to give your information to SAMHSA when you search their database for help.
Write A Personal Narrative
Explaining to your insurance company how your individual symptoms prevent you from performing your job duties can be extremely helpful. You can do this by preparing a detailed, written narrative for the insurance company. In many cases, it is helpful if the narrative addresses all your symptoms by listing them separately first. Because most symptoms of anxiety disorders are subjective in nature, your narrative can also address the severity of your symptoms, as well as factors that trigger or exacerbate your symptoms.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders
The main symptom of all anxiety disorders is a feeling of excessive fear or worry. The specific symptoms depend on the type of anxiety disorder. Common additional symptoms include:
- an inability to concentrate or focus
- avoiding certain objects or places
- fear of crowds, and
- feelings of doom or danger.
Anxiety disorders often have physical symptoms as well. Physical symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
- nausea, and
- sweating and shaking.
Additional physical symptoms can include dry mouth, muscle tension, and dizziness. If you’ve been experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to tell your doctor and get treatment. Social Security needs to see medical documentation that you’ve been experiencing symptoms of anxiety before the agency can find you disabled.
Completing A Residual Functional Capacity Assessment For Anxiety
Since the SSA denies a majority of the claims it receives for anxiety disorders, you might have to undergo a Residual Functional Capacity assessment to determine the seriousness of your anxiety symptoms. For an anxiety disorder, you undergo an RFC to determine what type of work you can do while struggling with severe anxiety symptoms. This might mean working from home or taking frequent breaks throughout the day to slow down your thought process.
The goal of the SSA is to find work for every applicant that receives disability benefits. An RFC assessment represents the tool used by the SSA to discover the best occupation for you to work while dealing with anxiety symptoms.
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Can You Get Disability For Anxiety
Anxiety can considered a disability if you have well-documented evidence that it impacts your ability to work. If you meet the medical requirements outlined by the SSAs Blue Book and have earned enough work credits, you will be deemed disabled by the SSA and you will be able to get disability for anxiety.
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Ticket To Work Service Providers
Several different types of Ticket to Work program service providers can help you transition to the workforce or progress in the job you have:
600+ Employment Networks across the U.S. offer a range of free support services through the Ticket to Work program. Some ENs serve specific populations, while others may provide specialized support services. ENs can help you:
- Prepare for the workforce
- Find a job and stay employed
- Advance in your current job
- Get job accommodations
- Stay in touch with Social Security
- Stay organized
Workforce ENs are providers that are also part of a states public workforce system. Like other ENs, Workforce ENs can give you access to a wide array of employment support services, including training programs and special programs for youth in transition and veterans. A Ticket program participant who assigns their ticket to a Workforce EN will work with providers in the workforce system .
People who need more significant support services may find help at a State Vocational Rehabilitation agency. State VR agencies deliver a wide variety of services to help people with disabilities go to work. These services are designed to provide the client with the training and other services that are needed to return to work, to enter a new line of work, or to enter the workforce for the first time. State VR agencies can help you get ready to work. If necessary, you can then find an EN to help you keep your job and make more money.
Is Anxiety A Disability
When an anxiety disorder has affected your ability to function at work and at home for at least 12 months, you could be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. For example, if you become nervous and avoid all social situations with friends and family, you might not be able to successfully navigate even short interactions with coworkers. With enough evidence of your anxiety symptoms, Social Security can award you disability benefits.
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How To Get Short Term Disability Approved For Anxiety And Depression
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that 40 million people in the United States live with some form of anxiety disorder and more than 17 million adults live with depression. If you have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression that affects your ability to work and earn a living, a short-term disability may be available to provide financial assistance.
At NY Disability, we understand that anybody can be affected by anxiety and depression which makes it difficult to live a normal and productive life. A consultation with a disability lawyer provides you with options about programs available to help ease the financial pressures brought on by disorders that affect your ability to work.
The following information about short-term disability for individuals diagnosed with depression or anxiety may answer some of your questions and provide an incentive to speak with a disability lawyer.
Medical Records From Your Doctor
When determining whether your bipolar disorder is disabling, your insurance company will likely also want the opinions of your treating doctor. Your doctors support is key. Your doctors reports should focus on:
- The frequency and severity of your symptoms
- Any positive mental status exam findings
- Their direct observations of you during office visits and
The specific restrictions and limitations that prevent you from working.
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Anxiety Disorders Are Among The Most Claimed Disabling Conditions In The Country
Anxiety disorders are characterized by chronic and excessive worry about day-to-day problems. Anxiety disorders produce inner turmoil and fear, often with a sense of distress or dread. The worrying is often severe and impedes a persons social and occupational functioning. For many who suffer from anxiety, it is extremely difficult to get through each day, much less hold down a job. Symptoms, complications, and treatment may make it impossible for you to work or earn a living. As disability claim attorneys, we can tell you that a huge percentage of the cases we handle involve anxiety and similar mental disorders.
Those suffering from anxiety may be eligible for important forms of disability benefits, including benefits under federal programs administered by the Social Security Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs . You may also have a claim under an individual disability policy or an employer-sponsored long-term disability plan.
If you believe your disability benefits for anxiety were wrongly denied, do not hesitate to contact us. Whether your denial came from your insurance company, the SSA, or the VA, we can help you appeal and win your rightful benefits. The most important thing you can do is to stand firm and not give up. This is a time when skilled attorneys can legally intervene to overturn the denial and secure your compensation.
Documentation Is Key To A Successful Claim For Long
When you are trying to build a claim for long-term disability for anxiety in Ontario, the first thing that you should do is meet with your medical care provider. Documentation of how you feel, how the anxiety is impacting your life, and the results of your treatment are very important.
When you apply for disability for anxiety, it is very common for the insurer to deny the claim right off stating that your anxiety does not prevent you from accomplishing your daily tasks. Your lawyer will then need to gather documentation from your care providers to show how the anxiety is impacting your life and how it is affecting you as a long-term disability.
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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.
Make Sure You Are Receiving Appropriate Care And Treatment
One requirement in almost every long term disability insurance policy is that you be receiving appropriate treatment for your condition. Even if your claim is approved, the insurance company will still require proof of ongoing treatment. The insurance company can easily use non-compliance and lack of appropriate care as a reason to deny or terminate your anxiety disorder long term disability claim.
To demonstrate appropriate treatment, your treatment team should include specialists such as a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Treatment options for anxiety disorders may include:
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe mood stabilizers antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. It may take some time before you and your doctors find the right medication or medications.
- Psychotherapy: Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy, which may include individual counseling cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy .
- Day Treatment Programs: Your doctor may suggest an outpatient day treatment program designed to help you recognize and control your symptoms.
Again, it is important to follow your doctors recommendations. Your insurance company will want to see you are in treatment and doing everything in your power to improve your symptoms.
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The Blue Book Severity Tests For Anxiety
Section 12.06 of the SSAs Listing of Impairments sets the parameters for anxiety disorders that qualify for disability benefits. The SSA requires medical documentation of your symptoms and how they affect your life to be eligible for the SSDI or SSI program.
Any of these three conditions could make you eligible for benefits:
The Listing of Impairments also requires that the medical condition either causes substantial limitation in your mental functioning or, despite at least two years of medical interventions, you have a nominal capacity to adjust to changes in your daily life.
Warning: Ltd Policies And Mental Illness Limitations
When filing for long term disability, an important consideration is whether your long term disability insurance policy includes a Mental Illness Limitation.
Policies that contain a Mental Illness Limitation typically limit your benefits to two years if you are disabled due to a psychiatric condition such as depression or anxiety. Of course, each policy is different, so the prescribed maximum period may be shorter or longer depending on the terms of your particular policy.
Some policies with Mental Illness Limitations contain exemptions for certain mental conditions. It is important to review your policy closely.
However, if you are solely disabled due to an anxiety disorder and your policy contains a Mental Illness Limitation that does not exempt it, your benefits will most likely stop when the maximum allowable period expires. Unfortunately, the severity of your mental illness will become irrelevant after the maximum allowable period expires.
However, if you can demonstrate that you are disabled due to objective cognitive problems, your benefits may extend beyond limitation period. A neuropsychological evaluation, as discussed earlier, can provide this evidence.
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Why Are Disability Benefits For Anxiety So Often Denied
The primary reason for denial is the subjective nature of anxiety disorders. With few exceptions, visual-based medical imaging tests like MRIs, CT scans, x-ray, PET scans, and ultrasound cannot decisively document the existence of an anxiety disorder.
Claims examiners have to base their decisions on treatment notes from psychologists, psychiatrists, and other therapists, to agree with your doctors diagnosis and to assess the severity of your condition in terms of your ability to work.