Information About Anxiety


What is anxiety?

Anxiety is the intense, excessive and persistent worrying about everyday situations. Anxiety disorders differ from normal feelings of nervousness, as they may occur frequently, for no apparent reason and do not go away.


What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Symptoms may include excessive worry, restlessness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, obsessive thoughts or compulsions, sleep disturbance, fatigue, panic attacks and an easy startle reflex.


What are the different types of anxiety disorders that the Social Security Administration recognizes?

Social Security will evaluate social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, agoraphobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder under their guidelines for anxiety disorders. For example, people with a social anxiety disorder have an intense fear of social situations, often believing that others will think negatively of them.

Those who suffer from panic disorder will experience sudden periods of intense fear that may come on quickly and peak within minutes. People with this kind of disorder may experience a pounding or racing heart, profuse sweating, trembling or shaking, even feelings of impending doom. Those suffering from agoraphobia, often fear leaving their homes or being in open spaces or being in a crowd.

Those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorders often need to be in a very strict, regimented environment. Constant hand washing, counting objects over and over, the need to check the lock on every window multiple times, and the intrusive thoughts that never go away are several symptoms of this disorder.


Can a claimant receive disability benefits for anxiety and other anxiety disorders?

Depending on the severity of your anxiety, Social Security can indeed award benefits. Social Security will examine if the medical evidence supports that your anxiety is characterized by restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension or sleep disturbance.


How Social Security Helps People with Anxiety


Disability benefits for panic attacks or agoraphobia

For panic attacks or agoraphobia, Social Security will examine whether the medical evidence supports a persistent concern or worry about additional attacks-or if you have a disproportionate fear of at least two situations, for example, using public transportation, or being in a crowd.


Disability benefits for OCD disorders

In obsessive-compulsive disorders, Social Security will examine if the medical evidence supports either involuntary time consuming preoccupation with intrusive, unwanted thoughts or repetitive behaviors aimed at reducing anxiety.


Social Security criteria for anxiety disorders

In all cases, Social Security will look at the medical evidence describing how your anxiety disorder impacts your ability: to understand, remember or apply information; how it affects your ability to interact with others; how it affects your ability to concentrate, persist or maintain your pace and how it impacts your ability to adapt and manage yourself.


How can Hiring a Lawyer Help?

At Balin Law, we will help you explore how your anxiety disorder interferes with your ability to get and keep a job. We will help your frame the impact of your anxiety on all aspects of your daily life, the ups and downs of treatment and whether medications you have been prescribed have been effective or have produced serious side-effects.