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Is Anxiety Disorder A Disability

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VA Disability Benefits for Anxiety

The National Benefit Authority is Canadas biggest disability tax service provider, having assisted over 40,000 Canadians in successfully claiming disability credits. Our in-house team of experts can help determine your Disability Tax Credit eligibility, and walk you through your Canadian Disability Tax Credit application. Disability Tax Credit amounts vary on a case-by-case basis, but can be upwards of $50,000 per application!

Allow us to recover your disability for generalized anxiety disorder on your behalf, alleviating you and your family of at least one concern.

After You Apply For Benefits

Your claim will be assigned to a specialist for review, and you may be required to attend an interview or even undergo a consultative mental exam with an SSA-approved psychiatrist or psychologist to verify your condition. The process can take several months, but the more evidence and medical documentation you are able to provide, the better your chances of being able to get your claim approved.

Note that the rules regarding disability for children are different for more information, see our article on disability benefits for anxiety in children.

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    Specific Medical Evidence Needed For An Anxiety Disorder

    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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    Resources For Anxiety Disorder

    If you need more information about anxiety disorder, here are more resources. Additionally, there are opportunities for clinical trials. Also, there are options for counseling and mental health treatment. See below:



    Remember, contacting these resources for help with your anxiety will help you deal with your symptoms. Also, these resources can help you build a medical record to support your disability claim.

    Anxiety Disorders That May Qualify

    Social Anxiety Disorder: More Than Just Being Shy ...

    It’s possible to get disability benefits for mental health conditions, but getting the proper diagnosis is a crucial first step. Your doctor will have to submit medical evidence of your diagnosis, consisting of psychological tests and documentation of symptoms. Here are five ways anxiety disorders can qualify you for disability benefits:

    • generalized persistent anxiety

    sleep disturbance.


    A phobia is a persistent extreme or irrational fear of a situation, activity, or place, such as the fear of driving over bridges , the fear of heights , or the fear of leaving the house . A phobia causes a compelling need to avoid the feared situation or activity. Social phobia, or social anxiety disorder, an intense feeling of fear about and avoidance of interacting with others, can fall into this subcategory. To rise to the level of disability, the SSA requires that you have a disproportionate fear or anxiety about at least two different situations .

    Panic Attacks

    Panic attacks are characterized by sudden periods of intense fear along with physical symptoms such as sweating, increased heart rate, and shaking. Many people have experienced mild anxiety attacks in their life but take medication or therapy to manage them, but to rise to the level of disability, the SSA requires that you have severe panic attacks followed by a persistent concern or worry about having additional panic attacks in the future, or a fear of their consequences.

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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    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.

    Types Of Anxiety Disorders

    There are several types of anxiety disorder:

    • Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by at least six months of a more-or-less constant state of tension or worry, not related to any specific event.
    • Panic disorder causes repeated, unprovoked attacks of anxiety or terror lasting up to ten minutes.
    • Social anxiety disorder involves the fear of being negatively evaluated by others. Phobias are irrational, involuntary, and overwhelming fears that lead a person to avoid common objects, events, or situations, including social situations. In agoraphobia, there is fear of leaving the safety of one’s home.
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by recurrent, persistent, and intrusive thoughts or impulses that the person may feel can be controlled by performing repetitive behaviors. Although most experts no longer consider OCD as an anxiety disorder, the Social Security Administration still evaluates it under their listing for anxiety disorders.
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder . The SSA no longer evaluates PTSD under its listing for anxiety disorders it now has its own disability listing for trauma- and stressor-related disorders.

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    Helping Canadians With Disability/chronic Disease Get Physically Active

    For Canadians with a disability, regular physical activity may be even more important than it is for the rest of the population. For a person with a disability, an active lifestyle can open doors to increased health, social inclusion and self-empowerment – doors which might otherwise remain closed. Access to physical activity can eliminate the likelihood of acquiring secondary health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. Being active builds resiliency and can provide an all-important outlet for a person with a disability.

    This project would not have been possible without the expertise of our partners. ALACD would like to sincerely thank these organizations for working with us to develop this resource: the Ontario Blind Sports Association, Variety Village, the National Network for Mental Health, and the Learning Disabilities Association of Canada.

    Social Security Disability Insurance For Anxiety Disability

    Is Anxiety A Disability?

    Anxiety is listed in the Social Security Listing of Impairments under Mental Disorders, listing Section 12.06, Anxiety-related Disorders.

    The Listing of Impairments contains multi-part requirements one must meet in order to be eligible to be awarded disability benefits for anxiety. You must meet several criteriaat certain levels of severity in order to qualify. But positively proving anxiety as a disability can be difficult, since the diagnosis can be considered subjective, supported with symptoms that occur outside of a clinical setting by the patient who self-reports them.

    Social Security defines a disability as:

    any medically determinable mental or medical impairment that has prevented an individual from performing substantial work for twelve months, is expected to prevent an individual from working for twelve continuous months. . . .

    As part of their assessment, Social Security will examine whether your anxiety disability results in a complete lack of ability to function independently outside of your home. They will assess your overall ability, or lack of ability, to carry out basic work-related activities. You must be able to show that your symptoms will last at least 12 months.

    Thats why it is vital that you have medically documented findings of your diagnosis and symptoms, with a precise description of the job duties that produce anxiety. The documentation must report your level of inability to:

    Read Also: Do I Have Agoraphobia Or Social Anxiety

    Filing For Social Security Disability With An Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis

    The Social Security Administration considers anxiety disorders under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book, which covers Mental Disorders.

    It can be difficult to claim Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits on the basis of an anxiety disorder diagnosis because the medical evidence supporting the diagnosis is highly subjective and is based on hard-to-document criteria, such as feelings and behavior that occurs outside the doctors office and is reported to the doctor by the patient.

    In order to successfully apply for disability benefits due to an anxiety disorder, be sure to present a history of treatment by medical professionals, including both your physician and a qualified mental health professional, in order to show the recurrent or persistent nature of your anxiety disorder.

    The SSAs definition of disability is any medically determinable mental or medical impairment that has prevented an individual from performing substantial work for twelve months, is expected to prevent an individual from working for twelve continuous months, or is expected to end with death. Be sure that your medical documentation can thoroughly and specifically demonstrates to the SSA how your disability interferes with your ability to function on a daily basis.

    If you apply for disability benefits under Anxiety-Related Disorders, you must meet the conditions of either Paragraphs A and B below, OR the conditions of Paragraphs A and C below.

    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.

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    Is Anxiety Considered A Disability

    More studies are now proving that mental disorders, such as anxiety, are as disabling as physical disorders. Accordingly, it is becoming a debate whether or not people with anxiety should receive the same benefits as those with physical disabilities. To answer this question, we must first understand what disabilities are and at what point does the government consider anxiety as a disability.

    Getting Disability Without Meeting The Listing For Anxiety Disorders

    What Are Anxiety Disorders?

    If the SSA finds that your symptoms don’t fit into one of the above serious conditions, you may be able to get disability through a medical-vocational allowance . If an applicant’s generalized anxiety is so severe that it prevents them from performing any of their past jobs or any other type of work, the SSA should award them disability benefits. Social Security disability examiners consider an individual’s age, education, work history, and functional capacity when they make these types of medical-vocational determinations.

    You May Like: How To Tell Your Doctor You Have Anxiety

    Five Types Of Anxiety Disorders

    While not all of the following anxiety disorders are under listing 12.06, there are other listings for severe anxiety disorders. For example, PTSD is under listing 12.15. All of these anxiety disorders can impact you in the work environment and result in disability. The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder develops after exposure to a traumatic event. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults and domestic violence. For example, other events may be natural disasters, severe accidents, or military combat.
    • Social Phobia Social Phobia is an anxiety disorder where the person has overwhelming anxiety and is overly self-conscious in everyday social situations.

    Why Are Disability Claims For Generalized Anxiety Disorder Denied

    Often, anxiety disorders are caused or aggravated by workplace stressors, such as a hostile boss or coworker. Removing yourself from a hostile work environment may be necessary for your recovery, but it can invite unwanted scrutiny of your short-term or long-term disability claim. Frequently, disability plan administrators will deny such claims by characterizing them as a âworkplace dispute.â However, the cause of your anxiety is mainly irrelevant to whether you are disabled. Far more important are the functional restrictions and limitations documented by your treating providers.

    Another favorite tactic of insurers and disability plan administrators is to ignore or minimize the stressfulness of your occupation. Most standard occupational resources do not acknowledge the stressfulness of work unless it involves matters of life and death . Disability plan administrators exploit that omission by ignoring stress in their vocational analyses. For this reason, it is important that your doctors provide concrete restrictions and limitations that can serve as a proxy for stress, instead of offering only generic statements .

    If you have questions about obtaining disability benefits due to generalized anxiety disorder or other conditions, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. for a free consultation.

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    How Much Does It Cost To Treat Disability For Anxiety

    The final cost depends on the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your condition. Some anxiety conditions tend to be chronic, meaning they dont go away on their own. All in all, the longer you have a mental illness like this, the more it will cost you in both time and money.

    To illustrate this point, lets say you have a mild case of GAD and opt not to seek treatment. By doing so, your anxiety will likely get worse over time and cause complications or filing for Social Security Disability with an Anxiety Disorder Diagnosis.

    In the long run, these are all things you dont want to happen but are common in people with untreated mental illnesses. Treating disability for anxiety either costs a lot or nothing at all depending on your willingness to get better or if you meet the criteria for social assistance.

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