Were one to ask people in Florida what sorts of conditions might qualify one to receive Social Security Disability benefits, most responses would focus on injuries and ailments that have physical manifestations. Indeed, one might assume that “disability” refers only to those scenarios where a person is physically unable to work. Yet what about those people suffering from psychological or emotional ailments.
Among the most common of these are stress and anxiety. Per the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over 18% of the adult population in the U.S. suffer from anxiety. Most might claim that everyone experiences some degree of stress due to their work. Yet if that stress becomes so great as to prohibit one from working, might one qualify for SSD benefits because of it?
The criteria defining disabling anxiety
According to the Social Security Administration’s List of Impairments, to qualify for disability benefits due to anxiety, one must demonstrate at least three of the following symptoms persistently:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sleep disturbance
- Muscle tension
One might also qualify for benefits due to conditions similar to consistent anxiety such as panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Secondary requirements for anxiety-related disability benefits
In addition to the aforementioned criteria, one must also meet one of two qualifications for their application for anxiety-related disability benefits to merit approval. The first is an extreme or marked limitation in their ability to retain and apply information, adapt to changing situations, interact with others and focus on a single topic or subject. The second is to present documentation showing ongoing treatment for any of the mental disorders previously mentioned for a period of at least two years and to demonstrate a limited capacity to adapt to changes to one’s environment.