Getting Through Your Divorce and on With Your Life

Getting Through Your Divorce and on With Your Life

Can You Get Disability Benefits For Your Anxiety Disorder?

Celina Henry

Anxiety disorders are very common, affecting approximately 18% of the American population. While just about everyone suffers from short-term anxiety over stressful events, those with anxiety disorders suffer symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. In some cases, people with severe anxiety are unable to work; these sufferers might be entitled to disability benefits. A disability attorney can tell you whether you have a case that might result in disability payouts. In the meantime, here are some ways to determine whether you may be eligible for disability benefits.

Very Severe Symptoms

People with anxiety might experience symptoms such as disrupted sleep, a pounding heart, a constant state of worry or intrusive thought. Many times, medication and/or cognitive behavioral therapy can help patients overcome these problems and live a normal life. In some cases, however, symptoms might be so severe that the routines of daily life become impossible.

If your anxiety symptoms are so severe that you cannot do things like get yourself ready for work, interact with people, sleep or concentrate on the daily tasks that you need to do, you might be eligible for short- or long-term disability benefits until you can complete the treatment you need to start feeling better and performing the tasks that you need to accomplish to get yourself to work.

Documented Medical Need

In some cases, anxiety must be present for a specific period of time in order to qualify for a diagnosis. For example, generalized anxiety disorder, or GAD, is defined as symptoms lasting six months or more. If you are having severe anxiety symptoms, it's important to see your doctor promptly so they can be documented. If the symptoms clear up in a few weeks or a few months, you will not receive the diagnosis of GAD. On the other hand, if they last for many months, years or even longer, it's important for your healthcare provider to be aware of that so the correct treatment can begin.

Mental RFC Results

If you have not been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder but still want to seek disability, you may need to have a "residual functional capacity," or RFC, evaluation done. The purpose of this evaluation is to find out which areas of your life are impacted by your condition. If you are not found to be lacking the function to perform in any of the areas evaluated, you will most likely not qualify for disability benefits. The four areas that are evaluated are:

  • Understanding and memory when given instructions
  • Social interactions with others
  • Concentration and persistence when asked to carry out a task
  • Ability to adapt when asked to do a task

The Social Security Administration will look at your doctor's notes, as well as your non-medical history, such as your work history, reports from people who know you well, and your current hobbies and activities. If you are able to perform well in some of the sections, you might be asked to look for a job that will allow you to exercise these skills, even if you aren't able to perform the jobs you've had in the past.

Anxiety is a trying condition, and it might wax and wane throughout your life. Sometimes patients suffer from extreme anxiety for a period of time, then are able to function normally with the proper treatment; other times, someone may be doing well and suddenly spiral into a more severe form of anxiety for apparently little reason. Working with your doctor can help you take control of your condition. If you are suffering to the point of missing work, contact a disability attorney from a firm like Horn & Kelley, PC Attorneys at Law, who can walk you through the process of applying for benefits that will ease your financial worries while you work on getting well.


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Getting Through Your Divorce and on With Your Life

Going through a divorce? I know how you might feel – alone, stressed out, and probably even a little sad due to the loss of the life you have always known. Whether you have children or not, you might even feel a little guilty about the break down of your relationship. But I'm here to tell you that a divorce is not the end of the world. In fact, once you get used to the idea and start to move on with your life, you may find just as much, if not more, happiness than you ever had while you were married! Getting through the proceedings of your divorce in a dignified manner is the first step, and hopefully this website will give you the insight, support, and motivation you need to get through the process as painlessly as possible.