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Is Anxiety Considered A Disability

Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorders

VA Disability Benefits for Anxiety

It is natural to experience occasional anxiety or worry.

However, when negative emotions begin to interfere with daily activities like work and family , you should consult a medical professional.

Victims of severe anxiety and panic disorders often feel like they have no escape from their suffering.

In many examples, the victim may avoid certain places or situations to prevent these negative feelings from arising.

Whenever these feelings are difficult to control, out of proportion to the actual danger, or frequently occur its time to seek help.

Thankfully, there is a wide range of treatment options for patients that suffer from anxiety disorders.

The symptoms of severe anxiety may begin during childhood or teenage years.

Veterans often cite their time during service as the time in their life when anxiety levels became unmanageable.

The following symptoms are common:

  • Feeling nervous, tense, or restless
  • Increased heart rate
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Difficult controlling amount of worry

Those that suffer from anxiety disorders often have the urge to avoid certain situations that may trigger negative feelings.

What Are The Service Connections For Anxiety

The Department of Veterans Affairs utilizes a rating schedule to determine the severity of an anxiety disorder, like all other medical conditions.

However, receiving a VA disability rating for your condition is only half the battle toward earning monthly disability compensation.

Veterans can only receive VA disability benefits for anxiety disorders by establishing a service connection:

  • A current diagnosis of an anxiety disorder by a licensed VA clinic.
  • An in-service occurrence that caused or aggravated the anxiety disorder.
  • A medical nexus connecting the current, diagnosed anxiety disorder to the in-service occurrence.

In other words, you not only need an official medical diagnosis from a medical professional but also evidence that the anxiety disorder developed or worsened during your time in service.

It is not mandatory that service members have an official diagnosis of an anxiety disorder during service.

Rather, a veteran can get diagnosed with an anxiety disorder following service yet still receive disability as long as the current condition is connected to their time in service.

Nonetheless, a medical opinion is almost always needed to establish a medical nexus connection which is why meeting with VA medical professional is so important.

The Benefits Given To People With Disabilities

The Social Security Administration offers two programs for people who are qualified as disabled. The first one is the Social Security disability insurance program ) and the other one would be the Supplemental Security Income program .

Title II provides benefits for individuals who have a disability through their contributions during their previous or current employment. It also includes individuals who have disabilities and are dependents of persons under the insurance program. Title XVI on the other hand, provide SSI payments to disabled individuals who have limited income and resources.

Definition: Disability. . Retrieved January 8, 2017, from Merriam-Webster:

Disability Evaluation Under Social Security. . Retrieved January 8, 2017, from Social Security Administration:

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Anxiety Disorder And Your Ability To Perform Sedentary Work

Sedentary work often involves repetitive tasks requiring manual dexterity or regularly dealing with people. Many who suffer from anxiety disorders simply canât do these types of work successfully. As with mental restrictions regarding physical work, you will want to make sure that all restrictions regarding your ability to do repetitive work, detailed work, and work that involves working with people are all thoroughly documented when you apply for Social Security Disability benefits.

In order to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits based on anxiety disorder, you will need to show that your anxiety causes symptoms such as lack of vigilance, hyperactivity, extreme apprehension, frequent panic attacks, compulsions which cause safety issues, or intrusive memories which cause medically observable distress.

Additionally, these conditions must make it impossible for you to function in a work environment. While you are entitled to present your claim by yourself, you should consider allowing a Social Security Disability attorney to represent you when making a Social Security Disability claim based on anxiety disorders as your ability to represent yourself may call into question your inability to handle other work related situations due to your anxiety disorder.

Specific Medical Evidence Needed For An Anxiety Disorder

Five Main Anxiety Disorders Considered for Philadelphia ...

Your doctor or psychologist may have diagnosed you with a general anxiety disorder, a post-traumatic stress disorder , an obsessive-compulsive disorder , a panic disorder , or agoraphobia . The SSA will want to see evidence of any psychological testing or evaluations diagnosing you with anxiety, and any treatment notes by your doctor showing that you have been consistently reporting symptoms of anxiety.

Most importantly, you will need to explain what happens as a result of your anxiety. For instance, if you are at work and you have a panic attack, what do you do? Will you leave the job site? Do you lock yourself in the bathroom for an hour? Or, will you suffer in silence but become unable to complete your work tasks that day due to difficulty with memory and concentration? You should try to obtain a medical opinion from your treating doctor regarding your level of anxiety , what triggers your anxiety, and the effect of your anxiety disorder on your ability to work. If possible, you could also try to get a statement from your past employer regarding any work absences due to anxiety symptoms.

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Disclosing A Psychiatric Disability: Legal Protections

  • Disclosure is a choice. According to the ADA, employers cant require applicants or employees to disclose a disability . So, in most cases, disclosing a psychiatric disability is a choice, not a requirement. Individuals who choose not to tell about their mental health condition are not lying or hiding. They are using a legally protected choice.
  • After the job offer. Once a job has been offered, applicants may be asked to take a medical exam before starting work. If this exam reveals a psychiatric disability, the job offer can only be withdrawn if there is evidence that the person wont be able to do the essential functions of the job without an accommodation and cant be reasonably accommodated or the disability poses a real safety issue.
  • On the job. Employees generally cant be required to disclose a psychiatric disability unless requesting a job accommodation. Then, the employer can ask for some medical documentation about the disability. This medical information cant be shared with others in the workplace.
  • Federal contractors. Employers who are federal contractors must invite applicants and employees to voluntarily self-disclose a disability. This information is only used to track the progress in meeting disability employment goals of the employer. It must be kept confidential and cant be shared with the manager or co-workers.

Services You Can Trust

Many Canadians with disabilities dont get approved because they opt to fill out their T2201 Form themselves rather than seek the help of a professional. If youre living with a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability, we can get you approved for the Disability Tax Credit.

We have been helping clients with their applications for the Disability Tax Credit for many years now, and we can guarantee that you will be satisfied with our services.

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How To Show Your Depression Is A Disability

While some of these conditions seem to be clear cut on paper, other components are hard to prove outside of medical documentation. This is why its important to get mental health professionals involved in your treatment so that it can be clearly documented by authoritative figures who can help you secure an SSDI Award Letter.

If you do not meet any of the conditions in the Blue Book, your claim will still be evaluated as a possible medical-vocational allowance, which will take into account your medical records. These medical records will come from certified or licensed mental health professionals like psychiatrists, psychologists, clinics, or even hospitals. The recommendations of social workers and nurse practitioners do not carry much weight in this analysis in comparison to psychiatrists and psychologists, so if those professionals are not available to you, mention that in your application.

Its a good idea to confirm with your mental health professionals that their reports reflect how symptoms of depression or anxiety impacted your daily life and the effectiveness of their treatment plan. Choosing not to take medication may count against you, but being unable to get it because of its price or side effects are acceptable reasons.

Practical Points: Job Accommodations

Anxiety, Depression and Social Security Disability. A Lawyer’s Advice.
  • About work-leave. A leave of absence is sometimes needed as an accommodation. But work-leave should be the accommodation of last resort. Whenever possible, workers with psychiatric disabilities should stay engaged in their jobs as much as possible.
  • Code of conduct. Employers arent required to change a code of ethics or conduct in order to accommodate a worker with a psychiatric disability. But this code must be fairly and uniformly applied and cannot be applied differently to workers with psychiatric disabilities than to other workers.
  • Supervision. Sometimes, workers with psychiatric disabilities ask to be given a different supervisor as an accommodation. Generally, employers are not required to change the supervisor in order to accommodate a worker with a psychiatric disability. But employers can be required to change a supervisors leadership practices as an accommodation. For example, a worker who has concentration issues might need a more structured supervisory style that involves more task reminders.
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    Can You Get Disability For Anxiety

    Not all cases of anxiety are severe enough to make an individual eligible for Social Security disability benefits. Disability benefits are available only to those who suffer a severe and marked impact on their lives as a result of their disability. For example, someone who just has mild anxiety and can still shower and get dressed every day and go grocery shopping and cook meals is not going to be eligible for benefits, but someone who experiences a significant interference with his ability to do normal daily activities may be able to qualify. In addition to the requirement that the disability be sufficiently severe, Social Security also requires that the disability be a long-term one. This means the inability to work due to anxiety must have lasted 12 months at the time of the application, or it must be expected to last for 12 months.

    The Social Security Administration provides guidance as to how severe anxieties, fears, or compulsions must be for them to make a person eligible for benefits. This guidance is found in the SSA’s listing of impairments, which is a list of covered disabilities that provides details on what symptoms must be exhibited for those particular disabilities to be considered disabling.

    The Duty To Accommodate

    Some persons with mental health disabilities and addictions may need accommodation so they can equally benefit from and have access to services, housing and employment. Usually the accommodation process starts with the person asking for help. However, because of the nature of the disability, a person with a mental health disability or addiction may be unable to ask for assistance. Where an employer, housing provider or service provider thinks that someone has a mental health disability or addiction and needs help, there is still a duty to accommodate that person.

    Organizations also have a duty to design their services, policies and processes with the needs of people with mental health disabilities and addictions in mind. This way, people with disabilities are able to fully integrate into all aspects of society. This is called inclusive design.

    Accommodation is a shared responsibility. Everyone involved, including the person seeking accommodation, should cooperate, share information and look for solutions together. Many accommodations can be made easily and at little cost. Here are some examples of accommodation:

    You can find more information on the duty to accommodate here:

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    Anxiety Disorders And Symptoms:

    Anxiety disorders can affect any person of any age, ethnicity, or social class, and if symptoms become disabling, many can seek financial support for treatment through the Canadian disability tax credit. There are six main categories of disorders categorized by type and severity of symptoms:

    Each type of anxiety disorder can interact with one another, or multiple anxiety disorders can co-exist within one person. As symptoms progress, the condition can become disabling those needing treatment might wish to apply for the Disability Tax Credit offered in Canada. There are general disability credits as well as a child disability tax credit for youth or children who are suffering from a disabling anxiety disorder.

    The Ada And Psychiatric Disability In The Workplace

    Is Anxiety Considered To Be a Disability at Work?
    • Definitions. The ADA defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. When job applicants or employees have a mental health condition that meets this criteria, they have workplace rights under the ADA. The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 recently broadened the definition of disability to provide legal protections against employment discrimination for more individuals with disabilities, including people with psychiatric disabilities.
    • Record of psychiatric disability. The ADA also prohibits discrimination against individuals who have a record of a psychiatric disability or are regarded as having a psychiatric disability. This means, for example, that qualified individuals who have a history of psychiatric disability cannot be discriminated against just because of that history. Also, employers cant take actions because they believe a qualified applicant or employee might have a psychiatric disability.
    • Rights under the ADA. Applicants and employees with psychiatric disabilities have two main rights under the ADA. First, they have a right to privacy. Except when asking for an accommodation, they can choose whether to tell the employer about their disability. Second, they have a right to a job accommodation unless this causes undue hardship for the employer.

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    What Are The Five Major Types Of Anxiety Disorders

    The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

    • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts and/or repetitive behaviors . Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.
    • Social Phobia Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.

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