Most people in Missouri might say that every American adult deals with a certain bit of anxiety due to the many responsibilities stemming from everyday life. For this reason, claims that a person’s anxiety impedes them from successfully managing their daily routine are often met with skepticism.
Yet if you count yourself amongst the millions of Americans who suffer from diagnosed anxiety disorder, you know just how disabling it can be. If the restrictions your disorder places on you interfere with your ability to support yourself, then the opinion of the general public as to the validity of your need for added assistance matters less than how the Social Security Administration views anxiety as a disabling condition.
Demonstrating anxiety-related disability
Fortunately, the SSA includes anxiety disorder and related conditions in its Listing of Impairments that qualify for disability benefits. To qualify, you must first demonstrate one of the following:
- Anxiety disorder manifested by any three of the qualifying symptoms of restlessness, fatigue, irritability, muscle tension or difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Panic disorder or agoraphobia demonstrated by panic attacks and/or a disproportionate fear of normal social situations
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder manifested by either repetitive stress-reducing behaviors or and involuntary preoccupation with intrusive thoughts
Pinpointing the documented effects of your anxiety
In addition to the aforementioned criteria, you must also demonstrate how your anxiety has a direct impact on your daily life in order to qualify for benefits. One way to do this is to show an extreme limitation in your ability to understand and retain information, interact with others, maintain concentration or adapt to changes in your routine. If you do not meet that particular criteria, then you need to show a history of treatment for an anxiety-related disorder spanning at least two years (and that such treatment remains necessary).