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Anxiety and Social Security Disability : Eligibility and Application Process Explained

Living with anxiety can significantly impact an individual’s ability to work and maintain employment. In some cases, the severity of anxiety symptoms may qualify individuals for Social Security Disability benefits. In this article, we will explore the eligibility criteria and application process for anxiety-related disabilities. Understanding these aspects is crucial for individuals seeking financial support to manage their anxiety and maintain their well-being.
Anxiety Disorders and Social Security Disability

  1. Anxiety Disorders and Social Security Disability:

    Anxiety disorders encompass various conditions such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, social anxiety disorder (SAD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). To be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits based on anxiety, individuals must meet specific criteria outlined by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

  2. Eligibility Criteria for Anxiety-Related Disabilities:

    To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits due to anxiety, applicants must demonstrate the following: 

    • Medically Determinable Impairment: Provide medical evidence that confirms the existence of an anxiety disorder and its impact on daily functioning.
    • Severity of Symptoms: Show that anxiety symptoms significantly limit the ability to perform work-related tasks, resulting in an inability to sustain substantial gainful activity (SGA).
    • Duration of Impairment: Demonstrate that the anxiety disorder is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months or result in death.
  3. Gathering Medical Documentation:

    When applying for Social Security Disability benefits for anxiety, comprehensive medical documentation is vital. Here are some essential steps to follow: 

    • Consult a Healthcare Provider: Seek medical evaluation and treatment for your anxiety from a qualified healthcare professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
    • Obtain Detailed Medical Records: Request copies of all medical records related to your anxiety diagnosis, including diagnostic tests, treatment history, and mental health evaluations.
    • Functional Limitations Assessment: Request a functional limitations assessment from your healthcare provider. This evaluation should outline how anxiety impacts your ability to perform work-related tasks, maintain concentration, and handle daily stressors.
  4. The Social Security Disability Benefits Application Process for Anxiety:

    Navigating the application process for Social Security Disability benefits can be complex. Here are the key steps involved: 

    • Complete the Application: Fill out the Social Security Disability application accurately, providing detailed information about your medical condition, work history, and functional limitations.
    • Submit Medical Documentation: Include all relevant medical records and documentation that support your anxiety diagnosis and its impact on your ability to work.
    • Consultative Examinations: The SSA may request a consultative examination to further evaluate your anxiety disorder.
    • Review and Decision: The SSA will review your application, medical evidence, and consultative examination results to determine your eligibility for benefits.
    • Appeal if Necessary: If your initial application is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision within a specific timeframe.
  5. Seeking Professional Assistance:

    Given the complexity of the Social Security Disability application process, individuals with anxiety may benefit from seeking professional assistance. Social Security Disability attorneys or advocates can provide guidance, help gather necessary documentation, and navigate the appeals process if needed. Contact an experienced Social Security Disability attorneys or advocates near your area to file for your disability benefits if you are suffering from anxiety.


Understanding the eligibility criteria and application process for Social Security Disability benefits related to anxiety is crucial for individuals seeking financial support due to the impact of their anxiety on work. By meeting the required criteria, gathering comprehensive medical documentation, and navigating the application process effectively, individuals with anxiety can access the support they need to maintain their well-being. Remember, seeking professional assistance can greatly enhance the chances of a successful application and reduce the stress associated with the process.


  1. Social Security Administration (SSA) – Disability Evaluation Under Social Security: https://www.ssa.gov/disability/professionals/bluebook/12.00-MentalDisorders-Adult.htm
  2. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) – Applying for Social Security Disability Benefits with Anxiety: https://adaa.org/learn-from-us/from-the-experts/blog-posts/consumer/applying-social-security-disability-benefits
  3. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI): https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Treatments/SSDI
  4. Disability Benefits Help – Applying for Disability Benefits with an Anxiety Disorder: https://www.disability-benefits-help.org/disabling-conditions/anxiety-disorders-and-social-security-disability

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 22, 2023

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