If you or a loved one suffers from social anxiety disorder (SAD), you know what a paralyzing condition it can be. It can prevent people from having even basic social interactions that most people take for granted – and from participating in a workplace.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes a number of mental disorders, including “anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders,” that may qualify someone to receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). So if you’ve been diagnosed with SAD or a similar disorder, how do you most effectively present your case for benefits?
How do you qualify for benefits if you have SAD?
You will need to provide medical documentation of the seriousness and persistence of your disorder. For example, you’ll need to show that it causes serious limitations in your ability to interact with others. Further, the SSA requires that you have “minimal capacity to adapt to changes in your environment or to demands that are not already part of your daily life.”
You’ll also need to show that you’ve been suffering from the condition for a minimum of two years. You’ll also need to provide evidence that you’ve been seeking treatment from a medical professional. You’ll likely need to provide documentation of what triggers your anxiety attacks, how often you have them (and for how long) and how they affect your life.
Mental health disorders are often more difficult to “prove” than physical conditions. They also require that you provide more personal information than you may be comfortable sharing. However, if your SAD or other anxiety or panic disorder has made it impossible for you to earn a living, you can and should seek SSDI to help you support yourself and your family. With experienced legal guidance, you can better present your case and improve your chances of getting the benefits you need.