Can I Apply for Social Security Disability Benefits for Stress?

For many Americans, the pains of stress affect virtually every aspect of live, even blossoming into an illness that can hinder basic daily functions. And for those individuals, the Social Security Administration has set forth guidelines that present possible disability benefits for those suffering from near debilitating stress.

The Mental Health Disorder Listing
In order for an applicant to qualify for Social Security Disability benefits for stress, that applicant must do so under the “Mental Health” listing, meaning that the stress must be at the level of being a “mental health” disease or disorder.
To begin, an applicant must provide the Social Security Administration with a detailed medical history of the treatment he or she has received from physicians. In addition, the symptoms of the stress or anxiety should be within the last 90 days.
In the case of stress, the qualifying sub-listing would be anxiety. In order to qualify for benefits for an anxiety diagnosis, an applicant must show symptoms of one or more of the following:
1.) Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by three out of four of the following signs or symptoms:

a. Motor tension; or
b. Autonomic hyperactivity; or
c. Apprehensive expectation; or
d. Vigilance and scanning.
2.) A persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation, which results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity, or situation; or
3.) Recurrent severe panic attacks manifested by a sudden unpredictable onset of intense apprehension, fear, terror and sense of impending doom occurring on the average of at least once a week; or
4.) Recurrent obsessions or compulsions which are a source of marked distress; or
5.) Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience, which are a source of marked distress.
And either:

– Symptoms resulting in complete inability to function independently outside the area of one’s home; or
– Any two of the following:

o 1. Marked restriction of activities of daily living; or
o 2. Marked difficulties in maintaining social functioning; or
o 3. Marked difficulties in maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace; or
o 4. Repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration.
See Related Blog Posts:
Disability for Minor Children Under the Age of Eighteen
Availability of Disability Benefits for Mental Health Concerns

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