Previous posts addressed the fact that you can apply for Social Security Disability Benefits based on stress and anxiety. However, as is the case with all qualifying conditions, your case must meet the parameters set by the Social Security Administration in order to qualify. 

Many of those that have come to us here at Cutter Hall Karlock, LLC in the same situation in the past have seen the concerns over meeting the qualifying criteria add to their stress. Understanding what these are before jumping into the application process may help you to avoid this. 

Diagnosing your stress-related disorder 

The details of the qualifying criteria for any condition that merits SSD benefits are in the SSA’s Listing of Impairments. For anxiety, the first step in qualifying is providing clinical documentation supporting a specific stress-related diagnosis. These can be: 

  • Anxiety disorder characterized by a three-symptom combination of restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension or sleep disturbance 
  • Panic disorder or agoraphobia characterized by panic attacks and/or a disproportionate fear of at least two different social situations 
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by repetitive behaviors that reduce anxiety or an involuntary preoccupation with intrusive thoughts 

Marked limitations or medical treatment 

On top of that, you must show an apparent limitation in the areas understanding, recalling and applying information, interacting with other people, focusing on current situations or adapting to changes in your daily pattern. If you do not struggle in these areas, then you need to provide documentation showing that you have been receiving treatment for your disorder for at least two years and will continue doing so into the future (while still struggling in order to incorporate changes into your life). 

You can find more information on qualifying for SSD benefits can throughout our site.