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How to Get SSDI for Anxiety Disorders

Updated on October 20, 2009

Social Security Income(SSI) or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for anxiety disorders can be a necessary source of income for people who struggle with the symptoms of their anxiety disorder. If the person becomes unemployed or has difficulty gaining employment due to the anxiety disorder symptoms, the person’s bills and expenses do not stop. The SSI benefits for anxiety can help alleviate financial pressure during that difficult time.

Many different anxiety disorders can qualify as a disability. Someone with agoraphobia may not be able to leave their house unaccompanied by someone they trust. A person with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may have the horrifying symptom of flashbacks. Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, and other anxiety disorders can be debilitating.

If the person with an anxiety disorder is struggling with gaining employment due to anxiety disorder symptoms, the person should consider applying for SSDI as soon as possible. The benefits that a person receives once approved for SSDI or SSI are calculated from the date the person applied. Therefore, the person should not delay the start of the application process.

An official diagnosis is necessary. If the person has not been properly diagnosed by a physician or psychiatrist, the person should consult a medical professional for the anxiety symptoms. This is true whether or not the person intends to apply for SSDI benefits. Anxiety disorders are treatable conditions. Finding effective treatment generally begins with being properly diagnosed.

The application for benefits from the Social Security Administration can be filled out at one of their offices or on their website. After the Social Security Administration receives the completed application, the person is likely to have an appointment scheduled at their office. If the person with an anxiety disorder has difficulty being alone in public, the person may take a support person such as a family member or case manager with them to this appointment.

Part of the application process is filling out a form that is a personal account of how the anxiety symptoms affect the person’s daily life. The person should be honest about how the anxiety disorder symptoms are impeding their ability to function normally. The Social Security Administration considers the application and medical records when determining if a person qualifies for SSDI for anxiety disorders.

In order to qualify for SSDI or SSI for anxiety disorders, the Social Security Administration must see evidence in the application or medical records that the person is either unable to leave their house alone or the person’s ability to function has been significantly impaired. This impairment can be of social, cognitive, or occupational functioning.

The benefit of SSI or SSDI for an anxiety disorder is that some of the financial pressure is relieved as the person works towards finding effective treatment and controlling the symptoms. Receiving SSI for an anxiety disorder does not have to be a permanent situation. Money from SSI can provide temporary relief until the person is able to work up to being gainfully employed. My article called "SSI for Anxiety Disorders: A Bridge to Wellness" discusses how SSI or SSDI can provide temporary assistance and gives tips about moving towards independence.



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    • profile image


      5 years ago that I understand what is wrong with me, I guess I should see a doctor....hummm :-(

      Agoraphobia, OCD, and MAJOR panic attacks....I use to think I was having a heart attack!!! Can't leave the house, usually not even accompanied. How do I even plan a trip to see a Dr.? freaks me out to even think about having to face people, places, ect.

      Thank you for helping me to understand.

    • Sheila Wilson profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Wilson 

      8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I am so glad to have helped. As someone with PTSD and agoraphobic tendencies, I totally understand where you are coming from, Larry. There are times when I am too afraid to lean outside my front door enough to check my mail. At times when the anxiety is not as bad, I can go to the store if I have someone with me who I trust. I hope you can find the help you need.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I didn't know what to call my problem until today,Agoraphobia. I have not left my house in about 3 years alone, and I don't like to do it then either. This site has helped.

    • Alayne Fenasci profile image

      Alayne Fenasci 

      8 years ago from Louisiana

      This is EXCELLENT information! Thank you for sharing it. So many (well-meaning) people try to encourage those of us with anxiety problems to stick it out in the workplace and don't seem to understand why we aren't doing well. Your hub is a great encouragement for people like me who have done their best and come to realize working is simply not an option anymore.

      I'd like to add that while most applications are denied (at least at first), you should continue to appeal. A good lawyer with lots of experience in SSDI cases can be a tremendous asset. These lawyers are limited in the fees they can collect, and you should not have to pay someone in order to get started. Although the appeals process can take a while, it is well worth it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I been living with anxiety disorder for about a year and it's hell scared of everything somethime,forgetting the simple things and can't remember things.

    • Allsup profile image


      8 years ago from Belleville, IL

      There are a lot of people who suffer from anxiety disorders who may have never known that they could actually qualify for SSDI. Thank you for writing this hub and letting people know that they can get assistance from SSDI.


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