Social security disability benefits are available for a wide variety of illnesses, but perhaps the most difficult type of disability to establish is one resulting from a type of mental illness called anxiety disorder. An SSD claim based on an anxiety order is difficult to prove because most, if not all, of the medical evidence is based upon subjective evaluation of the patient by a psychologist or other therapist. Nevertheless, such claims are often approved, and an understanding of the various categories of anxiety disorder can be helpful in gathering supporting evidence.
A generalized anxiety disorder is a more or less constant state of tension and worry not related to a specific event or situation. A state of generalized anxiety disorder must last for six months to qualify for disability benefits. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is repetitive or ritualistic behavior that used used to control other symptoms of anxiety. Panic Disorder or panic attacks are repeated states of acute anxiety or fear that have no identifiable cause. Phobias are overwhelming and irrational fears of otherwise unthreatening situations, things, places, or events. Post-traumatic stress disorder is severe stress caused by experiencing or witnessing an especially traumatic event. (We will deal with each of these conditions in greater detail in subsequent posts.)